The following announcement recently appeared in L’Osservatore Romano:

Radical changes are being made to the Rite of Pedilavium (Foot Washing).

Previously the rite was celebrated with twelve men on Holy Thursday. The Holy Father having now determined the significance of the rite – to ‘fully express the meaning of the gesture made by Jesus in the Upper Room, his gift of self until the end for the salvation of the world, his boundless charity’ – it has been decided that henceforward, in this Jubilee of Mercy, it will form a feature of every general audience.

The traditional requirement for twelve men will be discontinued as an impediment to the inclusiveness of the ceremony. People of all nationalities, religions and sexes are now encouraged to participate.

Applications are invited from marginalised or disadvantaged groups worldwide. Priority will be given to the differently abled. All applicants are respectfully reminded that they should have at least one functioning foot.

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