A prayer for ablutions in the present time

I’ve written a lot here about the pandemic of flu fear. Many months ago, I made some liturgical suggestions, and my friend Fr. Tim Schenck has devised the “touchless Eucharist.” As far as I know, no one had gotten to work on the actual texts for these new rites. Until now, that is. On Facebook, I see that my friend Fr. Mike Kinman has written a prayer for ablutions with Purell. Mike is a cathedral dean, so this prayer is now fast-tracked for EOW 13, tentatively titled “Bless me, for I have sneezed.”

Holy God, creator of all things in heaven and on earth, we give you thanks for the gift of this Purell, for ethyl alcohol, it’s active ingredient and for Isopropyl Myristate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aminoethl Proponal and other inactive ingredients whose purpose is known only to you and in files that cannot be released by the Food and Drug Administration until 2079. We humbly ask that your love and care for all creation not extend to the microbes we hope to eradicate through our sometimes fanatical and paranoid cleansing and that you guard and protect us from all superviruses we might be unleashing on the world through the same. We also beg your protection and indemnification for ourselves, Johnson and Johnson, Gojo industries and all other subsidiaries from liability and physical or spiritual damage from the use of this sanitizer. Finally, may the chemical cleansing of our hands be a an outward and visible sign of the cleansing of our hearts, and may the pungent and alcohol-laden scent waft heavenward as incense in your presence. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who, like Purell, comes as fire and burns away all that is not worthy of surviving in your presence.

Let the church say … AMEN.

This is truly fantastic. I’d have expected nothing less from Mike. I knew he was a fine preacher, but I had no idea that he was such a fine liturgist. Truth be told, this is better than some of what’s been coming from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music lately.

What makes me kind of sad is that in some congregations’ zeal to be hygienic, they’ll be wholly eliminating any traditional ablution rites and prayers. In that case, Mike’s humorous prayer could actually be useful. Hmmm, does anyone have contact info for the SCLM?

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1 Response

  1. Lisa Fox says:

    This is marvelous, Scott. Do you have a link to the URL where Mike posted it?

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