A Foot-washing Liturgy

Click here to download a .doc file of this liturgy.

A Foot Washing Liturgy

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

—John 13.34


GREETING
Leader: Christ, our teacher and our healer,
you call us to your table, to celebrate our freedom in God.
All: We come, drawn by your Word.
Christ, our savior and our Sovereign,
you call us to be close to you in prayer.
We come, drawn by your Spirit.
Christ, our servant and our victim,
you call us to follow you in humility.
We come, drawn by your love. Amen.

SONG

OLD TESTAMENT — Isaiah 42.1-4
SILENCE

PRAYER
Gentle Christ, in humble service you renounce power, comfort and status.
We confess our envy and judgment, our thirst to dominate and control.
You do not cry out; you will not quench even a dimly burning wick.
We confess our anger, despair and violence, and our distrust of love.
We confess that in our fear and self-centeredness we shrink back
from washing the feet of the poor and working for justice.
We surrender our fear, and open our hearts to your grace.
We pray for all whom we think are beneath us.We pray for all those whom we have judged or wounded.
Forgive us, heal our fear, and empower us to serve in Christ’s name.
God of peace, you establish justice in all the earth.
Grant us your spirit of nonviolence, justice and mercy. Amen.

SONG

PSALTER — Psalm 116
SILENCE

NEW TESTAMENT — Philippians 2. 5-11
SILENCE

PRAYER
Suffering Christ, you humble yourself to death,
even to the shame and pain and injustice of the cross.
We confess that we hurt others, seeking our own security.
We pray for all who suffer, who are ashamed,
who are accused, for they are the Lamb of God.
You lovingly serve even those who harm you.
Grant us your spirit of humble servanthood.
Your tender love is more powerful than all our evil.
Grant us your spirit of self-emptying love. Amen.

SONG

SHARING THE MEAL OF JESUS

SCRIPTURE — John 3. 1-17
SILENCE

PRAYER
Loving Christ,
in our sin you wash us clean; in our grief you bless us,
in our weariness you restore us, in our shame you honor us.
We confess our resistance to your grace.
Wash the feet of our hearts, that we may wholly belong to you.
You pour out your Spirit upon us, and make us your brimming vessels.
Anoint our spirits, that we may find joy in serving you.
Grant us your spirit of love, O God, your life-giving spirit of love.
Amen.

SONG

THE FOOTWASHING

SCRIPTURE — John 13.34-35
SILENCE

PSALM (Psalm 141, paraphrased)
Holy One, you who are always present for me, I call to you.
Hear the cry of my heart — oh hear!
My prayer rises like incense before you,
my hands I raise as my evening sacrifice.
Beloved, keep watch over my mouth;
stand guard at the door of my lips.
Keep me from evil thoughts,
from joining in other people’s anger.
Help me stay free from joining them in accusing;
may I never seek comfort in belonging with them.
Let righteous people strike me,
let the faithful condemn me,
but may the wicked never anoint me with the acid of their praise:
for every day I pray blessing in defiance of their evil.
When with the stones they would throw they are wounded,
then they will see how gentle my way has been.
The whole warring world is divided and split:
our bones lie at the edge of hell.
So we turn to you, O Loving One:
You are our healing, and our only hope.
Keep me out of the trap of blaming and judging,
the pit of evil so easy to fall into.
Let the violent be entangled in their own nets,
while I go freely on a different way.

SILENCE

SONG

BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH