|Bishop Sebouh Chouldjian washing feet (photo by Psalm Tours, used by permission)|
Last year, I found it very moving to interact with a child at our Maundy Thursday service. Thinking about that this year, it struck me that foot-washing is one of the few sacramental-like rites at church that children might participate in. (Most children in our congregation do not take communion yet, and were baptized long before their earliest memories.)
So I really wanted to provide a way for children to participate in our Maundy Thursday service this year. I made arrangements with the priest well ahead of time, and agreed that I'd lead children's activities outside the chapel until the footwashing, and again from the footwashing until communion. The idea I was most pleased with was that it would be the children (and me) who would strip the altar afterwards.
Unfortunately, with all the stress and over-time at work, I had neglected to publicize my plan to offer Junior Church for this service. It was only today that I texted the parents of the children who are our regulars to invite them. Most texted back that they'd already made other plans or couldn't come for another reason. By that point I'd already begun to realize how exhausted I was, and that I was on the verge of a fever / sore throat / cold.
So it was with great of relief and disappointment, in pretty much equal parts, that I sent a followup text to say I wouldn't do it after all unless any parent had already told their children about it. And curled up in a fleece jacket on the couch with a hot tea and the television remote control.