A Passover Seder in the Light of Christ
THE WASHING OF THE HANDS (URCHATZ)
LEADER: Now, the hands are washed. At the Last Supper, it is here that (John 13):
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? Jesus answered him, What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand. Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I do not wash you, you have no part in me. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head! Jesus said to him, He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you. For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, You are not all clean. When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
ALL: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has made us holy by His law, and commanded us about the washing of hands.
(All wash hands)
Baruch Attah Adonai Eloheinu Melech haoolam,
asher kidshanu bmitzvootav, vtzivanu
al nteeolas yadayim.
ALL: We praise you, O Lord our God, king of the universe,
Who hallows our lives with the Law
And commands us to wash our hands.
LEADER: And let us say together the verse which used to be said by the Priest at the point in the Mass which echoes this moment of the Seder: (Psalm 25:6)
ALL: Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas et circumdabo altare tuum Domine ut audiam vocem laudis et enarrem universa mirabilia tua
(I wash my hands in innocence, and go about thy altar, O LORD, so that I may give voice to my praise and tell of all thy wondrous deeds.)
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(From The Hebrew Catholic, #73, Winter 2000-2001. All Rights Reserved.)