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blessing of hands

“Blessing of the Hands” ceremonies are now fairly commonplace during Nurse’s Week. Human touch is such a crucial part of health care. Blessing of the hands with oils or water is a way to acknowledge that importance, while also honoring the spiritual aspects found in physical care. Typically, during this week, many chaplains hold “Blessing of the Hands” ceremonies for their nurses. This year, however, we cannot hold your holds, anoint them and physically say a blessing for your hands. So, we do this virtually.

We are grateful for the work of your hands. We support you. We honor you. From the chaplains to you, thank you again, and Happy Nurse’s Week! 

The work of a nurse is sacred,
not just this week, but every week,
throughout every hour of every shift.

The hands of a nurse are steady
as they administer medications, help with procedures, start an IV,
and bring healing to the broken.

The heart of a nurse is courageous,
not just through a pandemic

That calls you to put your own well-being behind a veil of protective equipment
while you push through any feeling that resembles fear,
but always.

The hands of a nurse are callused, cut, and worn down
from the constant hand washing, sanitizing, and wearing of gloves.

The eyes of a nurse see through eyes of compassion,
not wincing at the sight of wounds,
but creatively finding the resources to bind them. 

The hands of a nurse are sore
from charting, writing notes, typing long emails,
and comforting families that cannot be present.

The soul of a nurse is fiercely gentle,
bringing a calm wisdom into a space terrified by mortality. 

You stare into the face of death everyday
and offer a reassuring smile,
or the presence of solemn strength that does not crumble.

The hands of a nurse are beautiful, strong, and gentle
as they bring in new life,
save those whose time has not yet come,
and hold the hands of those who are breathing their last. 

We honor your sacrifices
of energy, time, heart, and freedom
as the world seems overwhelming. 

We honor your willingness
to offer your gifts and grace
in the most vulnerable, frightening, funny, and freeing moments of being human.

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