Handwashing Liturgy

by Marie Pattison of SCM

This was used at the Window on the World Conference in 2002.

It took place in the Sunday morning service. As we are an ecumenical organisation we have to find creative alternatives to a communion service, the service followed a similar format with the handwashing taking the place of the Eucharist. People came up to the front where there were two tables each with a jug, a bowl and a towel. Each person had their hands washed and dried and then stayed to wash the hands of the next person. It was very moving to watch. Marie Pattison


Creator God
We give you praise and thanks.
For you brought creation to birth,
made us in your image,
saw the goodness of your creation,
and called us blessed.

We see you revealed in Jesus.
Who laid aside power
to proclaim the coming of your kingdom,
by riding a donkey
along a dusty road
to the praises of a crowd, shouting

Blesséd is he who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest

We come together here
in the name of Jesus
who in the night that he was betrayed
took water and a towel
knelt at the feet of his friends
and washed their feet
asking that his friends remember him
and live by his example.

Spirit of God, be with us
as we wash each others' hands
in a gesture of loving remembrance.
Help us to bring in your kingdom
by acts of love.
In the name of one
who lived
and laughed
and loved
and wept
and died
and rose again
that we might know the way of living in your love.