"Jesus took a towel…"

This hymn is sung every Holy Thursday at my parish during the mandatum, the washing of the feet.  It remains one of my favorites.  I haven’t been able to find a recording of it — until now.

Here’s “Jesus Took a Towel,” by the late great Trappist composer Chrysogonus Waddell (who lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s monastery, in Kentucky.)

You can find the verses here, which conclude:

Oh, the path is rugged, and the going is rough,
the journey is long to our heavenly home.
Our feet are weary and covered with mud,
so the Lord still washes our feet

YouTube Preview Image


  1. I’m happy that your parish sings this during the Mandatum every year, so does mine! My only hope is that your parish doesn’t sing it as fast as the recording/You Tube video you provided. Such a graceful song & text as this deserves a slightly more dignified pace reflecting the text a bit more.

    A Blessed Triduum to you!

  2. Paula Knowles says:

    You are so right…the beauty of this song is the solemn slow speed! Tears fill my eyes…I think this is my favorite service of the year.

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