Why would a bishop wash his hands with lemon and bread during a confirmation Mass?


Full Question

During the sacrament of confirmation, when a bishop is officiating, some bishops wash their hands with lemon and bread in a bowl filled with water. Why?

Answer

The lemon cuts the oil quite effectively and the bread is used to dry the hands. It sounds primitive to us. But in the early days of the Church these items were available in most places. Today we have modern means of cleaning the hands, but this reminds us that the Church has been around a long, long time.


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.