We are often all too familiar with the rite of washing of the feet of the twelve chosen men / family by the main celebrant during Holy (Maundy) Thursday Evening Mass. This, according to tradition represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve', in the Gospel of John 13:1-15.
Perhaps you may have experienced this yourself; being washed by a priest, or in your group, during Seminars, or perhaps amongst the congregation, or even in your own family. Having experienced this rite of washing of the feet (or hands) could even bring to transformation in spiritual life for some; when one understood fully what it means to serve as what Christ did, and to do what He wants us to do in our real life.
In the family, washing each other’s feet could bring a new perspective and meaning in the family’s life. Thereby setting an example that the family members could emulate by being more caring and loving, to be more patience, to learn the skill of listening, to understand and be sensitive to each other’s needs and feelings, to bless and pray for each other and to serve one another in humility. Serving not only on that particular day but throughout their entire life together, or even when someone is far at heart. But of course it’s not an easy task; however it could be possible by trying our very best and guided by the Holy Spirit.
We could start the rite of washing the feet in the family, not only when Holy Thursday comes along, but at an opportune time when all or almost all the members are gathered during certain occasion. Even the not so little ones could join in.
Begin with a short prayer or Gospel reading and a short word of appreciation to family members. The head of family would begin by washing and towel-dry the feet of the first family member and preceded through to the last member, after which he himself would be washed by the next member till everybody would have been washed and have washed all other members. End with a prayer of thanks and a bear hug to everyone.