From the Gospel of John, chapter thirteen, verses one through seventeen and thirty-one through thirty-five:
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’The Word of God, for all people. Thanks be to God. Amen.
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
Let us confess:
on that night long ago,
you knew that your hour had come.
You knew full well what lay ahead of you.
Your disciples loved you and followed you,
but they had also failed you.
They would fail you yet again that night,
and one would betray you.
Yet you washed their feet, as a servant would.
even the feet of your betrayer.
We have also loved you and followed you.
We have also failed you,
and we cannot comprehend the love that you show us,
the love that is our example,
the love that tells us to do
as you have done for us.
May we be like you, Master, servants of all.
May all see how we long to be your faithful disciples.
May all see how we love each other,
just as you have loved us.
In your holy name we pray. Amen.