Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Symbolism of the Washing of Hands during Mass
Symbolism of the Washing of Hands during Mass QUESTION from Susan Omillian October 14, 2001
As children, I remember being told that a priest washes his hands during the Mass because as with Pilate, who washed his hands before the Passion of Christ, the priest re-enacts this moment after the offertory -- to cleanse himself -- before the consecration. Is this so? I've been told recently that this is not the case.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on October 20, 2001
Dear Mrs. Omillian,
The priest washes his hands both practically and symbolically, the symbolism being the washing away of sins. I have never heard or studied any connection to Pilate.. whose hand washing had a different symbolic meaning.
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