Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deacon Pope

OK, I just had to post this picture.

It shows the Pope, at last year's Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper, washing feet in response to the command of Christ to the Twelve at the Last Supper.  What is important to note here is, of course, that the pope is vested as a deacon: that's a deacon's dalmatic that you see him wearing.

For those who might not realize it, many bishops wear a dalmatic under the chasuble (the priest's outer vestment); the pope has here removed his chasuble, so that his dalmatic is clearly visible.  The dalmatic, by the way, was originally a vestment of a bishop, and bishops gave the dalmatic as well to their principal aides, their deacons.  This shared vestment was seen as a sign of the close bond that should exist between bishops and deacons.

Just thought the picture was worth a thousand words.


  1. Great picture! I've often wondered why the deacon is not enlisted to wash the feet -- or assist in it somehow. The ritual makes no accommodation for that, and implies that this is a priestly function (albeit, one that is also part of the PRIEST'S diaconal role as servant of the people of God.)

    Of course, the ritual has had some creative interpretations over the years -- but that's a subject for another post :-)

  2. Knew you'd like the picture, Greg.

    Actually, in quite a few places the deacons help with washing feet. Might be a "Brooklyn thing" NOT to do it! You should totally start a new trend, dude!

  3. Here in SLC at the Cathedral it is the bishop with two deacons who wash the feet of the 12 people selected for the mandatum. So, yea, Greg make the suggestion!

  4. Can we get a Hi Res version to enlarge and frame?

    This image says so much about our Holy Father being the Servus Servorum Dei