Q: I recently learned that there is a Lavabo ritual, i.e. the washing of hands before the Eucharistic Prayer. Is this condoned or approved? Is it pre-Vatican, and hence it has to be approved by the regional bishops’ conference before it can be adopted? Would appreciate most gratefully what’s the purpose of this ritual, if it is actually a past practice. Thank you as always.
A: As I indicate in At the Supper of the Lamb, the washing of hands has been part of the Catholic mass for quite some time and still is. The only change after the council was to the prayer that the priest says while the server pours water over his hands.