Author Topic: Do you wash your hands before you pray?  (Read 281 times)

Offline St. Columba

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Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« on: February 11, 2019, 08:39:53 PM »
I was wondering if anyone else here did this....thanks!

(I haven't researched this....but the practice seems like a primitive impulse)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 09:11:38 PM by St. Columba »
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 10:20:23 PM »
No.  I can see the idea; you might see it as accompanying  spiritual preparation to pray (purifying yourself). Just don't become "OCDish"...

And ideally we should be praying at various times during the day, not only formally. Sometimes people offer a quick prayer in the middle of whatever they are doing. Your hands might get a little dried out!
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 
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Offline St. Columba

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 07:42:58 AM »
Why do priests wash their hands before mass?  What is the spiritual significance, if any?
People don't have ideas...ideas have people.  - Jordan Peterson quoting Carl Jung
 

Offline St. Columba

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 07:48:00 AM »
No.  I can see the idea; you might see it as accompanying  spiritual preparation to pray (purifying yourself). Just don't become "OCDish"...

And ideally we should be praying at various times during the day, not only formally. Sometimes people offer a quick prayer in the middle of whatever they are doing. Your hands might get a little dried out!

Thanks NN....no, no, it is not OCDish...I usually just do it once a day, before my main prayer block.  Brings a sense of formality and reverence to the proceedings, I suppose.  Frankly, I am not sure why I do it....it just seems right....like I said, a primitive impulse....I also don't like to pray in shorts or pajamas during my formal prayer.

Thanks Non Nobis!   :)
People don't have ideas...ideas have people.  - Jordan Peterson quoting Carl Jung
 
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 12:38:03 PM »
The impulse to ablutions or similar practices before prayer is a pretty common one across cultures. The Russian Old Believer prayerbooks direct the Christian to wash his hands and face before beginning morning prayers. They also use a small cushion called podruchnik that they put in front of them so that when they do prostrations, they keep their foreheads and hands clean. There is a Malankara Orthodox parish near me; in their tradition, you are supposed to remove your shoes before entering the nave. In Coptic Orthodoxy, clergy who enter the sanctuary do not wear shoes, and those who are receiving Communion remove their shoes before approaching to commune. These of course hearken back to several biblical instances of removing shoes on holy ground.

ETA: I imagine the bishop's liturgical shoes are connected with such ideas.
O unashamed intercessor of Christians, ever loyal advocate before the Creator, do not disregard the prayerful voice of sinners but in your goodness hasten to assist us who trustfully cry out to you: Intercede always, O Mother of God, in behalf of those who honor you!
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 08:10:54 PM »
The impulse to ablutions or similar practices before prayer is a pretty common one across cultures. The Russian Old Believer prayerbooks direct the Christian to wash his hands and face before beginning morning prayers. They also use a small cushion called podruchnik that they put in front of them so that when they do prostrations, they keep their foreheads and hands clean. There is a Malankara Orthodox parish near me; in their tradition, you are supposed to remove your shoes before entering the nave. In Coptic Orthodoxy, clergy who enter the sanctuary do not wear shoes, and those who are receiving Communion remove their shoes before approaching to commune. These of course hearken back to several biblical instances of removing shoes on holy ground.

ETA: I imagine the bishop's liturgical shoes are connected with such ideas.

Ritual ablutions are fairly common across the spectrum, as you have already pointed out. Islam, for instance, carried this old Semitic (and biblical) practice into their canonical daily prayers: Muslims have to perform ablutions of their hands, face, arms, head and feet so that they may be ritually clean before offering their prayers.

In the Western Church, the priest performs the familiar ablutions of his hands before vesting for Mass, at the Offertory and after Holy Communion. There are, of course, other forms of symbolic ablutions that survived down to our time such as the Asperges before Sunday Mass or the now largely forgotten custom of the churching of women, present only in traditional circles, in some Protestant churches and in the East.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline St. Columba

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 02:06:59 PM »
The impulse to ablutions or similar practices before prayer is a pretty common one across cultures. The Russian Old Believer prayerbooks direct the Christian to wash his hands and face before beginning morning prayers. They also use a small cushion called podruchnik that they put in front of them so that when they do prostrations, they keep their foreheads and hands clean. There is a Malankara Orthodox parish near me; in their tradition, you are supposed to remove your shoes before entering the nave. In Coptic Orthodoxy, clergy who enter the sanctuary do not wear shoes, and those who are receiving Communion remove their shoes before approaching to commune. These of course hearken back to several biblical instances of removing shoes on holy ground.

ETA: I imagine the bishop's liturgical shoes are connected with such ideas.

Ritual ablutions are fairly common across the spectrum, as you have already pointed out. Islam, for instance, carried this old Semitic (and biblical) practice into their canonical daily prayers: Muslims have to perform ablutions of their hands, face, arms, head and feet so that they may be ritually clean before offering their prayers.

In the Western Church, the priest performs the familiar ablutions of his hands before vesting for Mass, at the Offertory and after Holy Communion. There are, of course, other forms of symbolic ablutions that survived down to our time such as the Asperges before Sunday Mass or the now largely forgotten custom of the churching of women, present only in traditional circles, in some Protestant churches and in the East.

Given that ablutions, in one manifestation or another, are so ubiquitous in religion, is there anything to the idea that the practice might somehow be embedded in the human fabric, psychological or otherwise?  I used the words, "primitive impulse" above, because that is how I am perceiving it: it summons almost "naturally", without my even thinking about it.

Perhaps a bit out there, but could God have commanded Adam and Eve to wash themselves before they interacted with Him? ..sort of part of the adamic dispensation?

Thank you all!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 02:08:38 PM by St. Columba »
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Offline Sempronius

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 02:24:27 PM »
My muslim childhood friend said that they must wash themselves after fornication, or else they will get attacked by demons.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 05:19:07 PM »
My muslim childhood friend said that they must wash themselves after fornication, or else they will get attacked by demons.

What your Muslim friend wanted to say is that they have to perform a ritual bath called ghusl after sexual intercourse with their wives, since sexual intercourse nullifies one's ablution.

After fornication they would have to be publicly flogged instead, not simply washed, since fornication is a major sin in Islam.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Do you wash your hands before you pray?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 10:49:07 AM »
The impulse to ablutions or similar practices before prayer is a pretty common one across cultures. The Russian Old Believer prayerbooks direct the Christian to wash his hands and face before beginning morning prayers. They also use a small cushion called podruchnik that they put in front of them so that when they do prostrations, they keep their foreheads and hands clean. There is a Malankara Orthodox parish near me; in their tradition, you are supposed to remove your shoes before entering the nave. In Coptic Orthodoxy, clergy who enter the sanctuary do not wear shoes, and those who are receiving Communion remove their shoes before approaching to commune. These of course hearken back to several biblical instances of removing shoes on holy ground.

ETA: I imagine the bishop's liturgical shoes are connected with such ideas.

Ritual ablutions are fairly common across the spectrum, as you have already pointed out. Islam, for instance, carried this old Semitic (and biblical) practice into their canonical daily prayers: Muslims have to perform ablutions of their hands, face, arms, head and feet so that they may be ritually clean before offering their prayers.

In the Western Church, the priest performs the familiar ablutions of his hands before vesting for Mass, at the Offertory and after Holy Communion. There are, of course, other forms of symbolic ablutions that survived down to our time such as the Asperges before Sunday Mass or the now largely forgotten custom of the churching of women, present only in traditional circles, in some Protestant churches and in the East.

Given that ablutions, in one manifestation or another, are so ubiquitous in religion, is there anything to the idea that the practice might somehow be embedded in the human fabric, psychological or otherwise?  I used the words, "primitive impulse" above, because that is how I am perceiving it: it summons almost "naturally", without my even thinking about it.

Perhaps a bit out there, but could God have commanded Adam and Eve to wash themselves before they interacted with Him? ..sort of part of the adamic dispensation?

Thank you all!

I think that's possible; it certainly seems like an "embedded" idea to be clean before contact with deity.
O unashamed intercessor of Christians, ever loyal advocate before the Creator, do not disregard the prayerful voice of sinners but in your goodness hasten to assist us who trustfully cry out to you: Intercede always, O Mother of God, in behalf of those who honor you!
 
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