Holy Thursday Decree

Pope Francis has reformed the ceremony of the washing of the feet during Mass on Holy Thursday by decreeing that henceforth it will be open to women too or, as he put it in a year-old decree that was published on Jan. 21, “to all the members of the People of God.” The relevant part of the decree reads: “In order that the full meaning of this rite might be expressed to those who participate, it seemed good to the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis to vary the norm which is found in the rubrics of the Roman Missal…so that pastors may select a small group of the faithful to represent the variety and the unity of each part of the people of God. Such small groups can be made up of men and women, and it is appropriate that they consist of people young and old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated men and women and laity.”

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