The Catholic Church of the Nativity of Our Lord Brings Back the Washing of Feet | Local News


Rhinelander, Wis. (WJFW) – It is Holy Week in the church as Easter Sunday approaches and there are many faith-based traditions and practices throughout the week. A tradition returns to the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord where the pastor will wash the feet of parish members, after a furlough due to the pandemic. Footwashing shares a message of service and humility.

“It actually started in the 7th century with the monasteries, where monks washed each other’s feet, then it progressed to the 17th century where he washed the feet of the poor, and then it was Pius XII who started it. ‘has brought more into the open with all the universal churches,’ said Fr. Chris Kemp, pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Rhinelander.

In the Christian faith, the tradition goes back to the Last Supper. The plot twist was that Jesus, the leader of the disciples, was the one doing the laundry. “It was initially the role of the servant, and so Jesus prostrates himself as a servant and he comes down and he washes the feet of the apostles… it was not a very clean place, and therefore their feet were dirty”, said Prof. Chris.

So when the church embraced the practice, it shared a message of humility. “It’s to see how we humble ourselves before God and to see how he comes into our lives,” Fr Chris said.

The practice is still relevant today. “It’s also a way to bring people together, to humble them and see how they can come out and bring that love of Christ, that charity work for a lot of other people,” the father said. Chris.

It is seen as a way of thanking ward members for their work in the community. “It brings other people to see the different ways and the different ministries that people provide and to recognize the different families even in the area,” the father said. Chris.

The Nativity of Our Lord will hold the washing of the feet at Mass on Maundy Thursday.

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