The adorable mess header

The adorable mess header

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Foot Washing Ceremony

With the wedding being a little over a month ago, it has been a lot of fun to hear everyone's reactions to the wedding and their thoughts on the day that they shared with us!

One of the highlights of our wedding day was our foot-washing ceremony.  Many of our guests commented on how well done it was, and honestly, it was probably our favorite part of the wedding.  Since then, we've had a few people ask us how we incorporated it into our ceremony and I thought I'd take a few moments to share.

When Brett and I began thinking about the design of our ceremony, we knew a few things:

1. We wanted it to reflect the gospel.
2. We wanted it to reflect our personalities.
3. We wanted it to be meaningful.

With this in mind, we decided to incorporate a few elements into our ceremony: an opening prayer with a welcome that laid the foundation for our marriage, a foot washing ceremony, and our very own vows in addition to traditional vows.  While I could go on and on about the other elements, the one that I will focus on in this blog post is our foot washing ceremony.

Why did you choose to wash each other's feet?

As we began to think about our ceremony we really focused in on the fact that biblical marriage connects beautifully to the gospel: Jesus, taking the form of a servant, chose to serve his disciples by washing their feet, even though he was the King of Kings; and that Jesus is the bridegroom of heaven, and that we the church are the bride of Christ. From there, we considered what scriptures we could share that would connect those two thoughts and ideas.  Ultimately, we chose to focus on three sections of scripture that connected these ideas.  Our first scripture was Ephesians 5:21-31 which discusses how marriage connects us to Christ through submission, or servanthood to the other person, and how wives and husbands should love each other with the same love that Christ demonstrates to the church. The scripture itself is as follows:

Ephesians 5:21-31. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for

Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is 

the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the 

Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to 

their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved 

the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the 

washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant 

church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and 

blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own 

bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his 

own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we 

are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and 

mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”.

We also chose to use Philippians 2:5-8 which demonstrates Christ's choice to take on the form of a servant by emptying himself and considering equality with God something that could not be grasped. The scripture reads as follows:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death
        even death on a cross!
And finally, John 13:12-18 which describes how servanthood connects to washing each others feet.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

So, you may be wondering, what is the connection between these three scriptures?  Well, the ultimate idea is this:  Biblical marriage is a reflection of servanthood, one man and one woman dying to their own desires to become one flesh and to love one another unconditionally, just as Christ loved the church.  Because of Christ's love of his church, he took on the nature of a servant and chose to serve others around him, even though he was God himself.  He chose to serve and submit, even to death on a cross, just as we choose to submit to each other until death separates us.  By washing each other's feet, we chose to demonstrate that we were willing to commit to serving and loving one another until Jesus takes us home and that we bless each other by washing the other person's feet.

How did it fit into your ceremony?

Now that we have the basis for our decision, let's talk about the technicalities behind the foot washing. We chose to use this in place of our unity candle or sand pouring.  The foot washing came right after the declaration of intent.  Our ceremony went in this order:

Welcome and Prayer
Declaration of Intent
Foot Washing
Reading of Vows
Exchanging of Rings

We had our officiant take some time to build the background for our foot washing while we took time to undo our shoes and pour the water into the basin.  Brett and I had discussed how we would remove the shoes:  We would each remove our own before the foot washing began.  Brett would wash my feet first and then I would wash his.  We also made sure that we had plenty of towels, including one for me to kneel on, as our ceremony was outside.  After we had dried each others feet REALLY well, I slipped my shoes on quickly and helped him get his shoes and socks back on.

We also chose to use the song Lead Me by Sanctus Real as we washed each others feet.  The song is beautiful and talks about how we should ask the Lord to lead us in our marriage and our relationships, as we are weak in our own strength.

After the foot washing, we began the exchanging of the vows, and from there we finally made it to the part where we got to be Mr. and Mrs. Sabol. That was my other favorite part. :)

Here are a few of the pictures from the foot washing, we think they are beautiful.  The wonderfully talented Ruby Peoples Photography took them for us.  I hope you enjoy them!

Happy Serving,


1 comment :

  1. I LOVE this idea! I'm a teen still, but this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing, and what a lovely couple!