Holy Days LGBT/queer Liturgy My poetry Reflections for worship services

A queer prayer for foot washing – Maundy Thursday / Holy Thursday


I do not know if I could let you, my God,
my Savior, to whom I owe all things
kneel below me
and take into your warm brown hands
my feet, dirty and cold.

I also do not know if I could take
the feet of my betrayers, my deniers –

those who declare my identity a falsehood or a phase,
those who sentence me to suffering by their hate,
those who wield you against me,
those who do not yet know all that I am, but when they do
might cease to associate themselves with me –

I don’t know if I could take their feet
in my hands, 
kneel before them in a pose of the same lowliness
they often make me feel

and wash their feet
just as you did for your friends, who would very soon abandon you.

Must I let you serve me?

And must I serve them?

…And if I do these things, will I really grow closer
to you?

to them?

Oh! You who stripped off Divinity
and took on the frail finitude of flesh…for me!
teach me this humility.

Give me the courage to ask them
if they will even let me wash their feet
and whether, maybe, they might wash mine too.

Intimacy like this is a fearful thing.

But if it truly leads to fuller life
and if you are with me,

I will take the bowl of water,
the washing rag,
and I will sit with bare feet
and I will kneel with warm hands.

Liturgy Prayers of the People

Prayers of the People: we do not yet “lack nothing”

The psalmist proclaims that since God is their shepherd,
“I shall lack nothing.”
Yet in our here and now, we lack much; we want much.

We pray for the future in which all will be satisfied –
when your abundant life, O God, restores and transforms all Creation.

In the meantime, we pray for those we know are in need –
and for those whose needs we do not know,
those who do not know how to ask for what they need.

In the meantime, we give thanks that you walk alongside us,
shepherding us across valleys of despair
and holding our hand in the midst of our oppressors.

Friends, I invite you to lift up your joys and concerns,
in spirit or out loud.

[Offer up prayers however you typically do.]

Our trust, Shepherd God, is in you.