Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

Easter Vigil:
A hand washing meditation – Romans 6

We are dead to sin, Alive to God through our baptism

Read Romans 6 v 3-11

Water and washing is an integral part of the Easter Story, from Jesus washing the disciples' feet, Pontius Pilate washing his hands at Jesus' trial, Jesus' body being prepared for burial. Now viewed as symbolic and deeply sacred acts. At the time maybe just viewed on some level as someone practising good hygiene?

As we celebrate our Easter Vigil tonight, water and handwashing are very much front of our mind, as a practical first line of defence against COVID-19, and part of our way of showing care to those around us.

The following is a suggestion as to how we could use handwashing as a sacred ritual tonight - feel free to amend the words to reflect your insights from reading the passage, or to mark the reading of this passage in a way that suits you better.

Wet your hands

I am here God

I feel like I am constantly stood at this sink at the moment,

This time I want to acknowledge that you are with me looking at me with love in my limbo state

Apply Soap

Paul reminds us of the freedom you offer through your grace

Why is it so hard to remember that?

Why do I feel that I constantly have to 'scrub up' to meet your standard, when you have already released me from all that holds me back

Tonight I come to you as an Easter Saturday person, bringing my grief at everything that has changed so fast

Washing Action 1: Palm to Palm

I pray for those for whom the physical separation from loved ones feels impossible to bear

May you bring comfort

Washing Action 2: Backs of hands

I pray for those for whom this time is bringing more risk of physical or verbal insecurity

May I in turn feel your guiding presence as my frustrations rise close to the surface

Washing Action 3: Between the fingers

I thank you for all the people with whom my life is interlinked

I pray for those on whom I am relying especially at the moment- both known and unknown to me - as they carry out roles to keep us safe

Washing Action 4:Thumbs

I thank you for all I can do at the moment - the way you've created me to be a cook, a convener, a gardener, an entertainer, a priest - even if that isn't what you call me to in normal times.

May some of these discoveries be part of me being alive to you once this time passes

Washing Action 5:Tips of fingers

We are reminded of our baptism tonight, and we give thanks for those who have been part of our spiritual formation over the years and now

We thank you for our community at Grace meeting together and with you via the typed word, images and speech

Washing Action 6:Wrists

I ask forgiveness for the ways that I continue to chain myself to thoughts and patterns that don't serve me well

May I come to know the liberation you offer me

I pray that prophetic acts we have seen in society as a response to the outbreak may continue beyond this time- may the political prisoners remain free, the homeless housed, the ceasefires hold


Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us


Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Hang the towel up/dispose of the paper towel

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace

The steps for the meditation were taken from this video - The WaterAid guide to Handwashing.

Further public health advice on handwashing is best found at: WHO Clean hands protect against infection, and the following is a great 'ear-worm' if your children are fed up of singing Happy Birthday twice: Washy Wash Song.

If you feel able, please donate to one of the global organisations responding to COVID-19 - to help them in providing medical care, testing, social support, researching a vaccine etc.

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