Prayer Service - In Honor of Healthcare Workers

January-February 2000

BY: SR. BARBARA McMULLEN, CDP

Call to Prayer

Leader As this new day begins, the God of healing is present in those among us who are caregivers for the sick.
All Healing God, conscious that caregivers reflect your compassion, we honor them and pray for them in a special way today. We ask you to hold them in your tenderness, give them an assurance of your spirit of strength as they minister to your people, and be for them a sign and source of hope. Amen.
Reading I Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all consolation. He comforts us in all our affliction and enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him.
      2 Cor 1:3-4
Reading II As Christians, we are called, indeed empowered, to comfort others in the midst of their suffering by giving them a reason to hope. We are called to help them experience God's enduring love for them. We are to do for one another what Jesus did: comfort others by inspiring in them hope and confidence in life. This is what makes Christian healthcare truly distinctive.
      Joseph Bernardin, A Sign of Hope: A Pastoral Letter on Health Care, Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Health Association, Chicago, 1995.
Ritual Light a candle as each response is prayed.
Response I We light this candle to let caregivers know they are honored and highly valued, to celebrate the efforts that they make in serving the sick each day. We thank them for the love they give to others and pray that they, too, may be showered with God's love.
Response II We light this candle as a tribute to all family caregivers among us who give so much of themselves to loved ones. We pray that they may find ways to share the responsibility of caregiving and experience consolation and strength on their journey.
Response III We light this candle for all doctors, nurses, pastoral care workers, social workers, aides, and all healthcare workers who seek to cure the bodies, nurse the souls, and heal the hearts of the sick who come to them. May they be given wisdom and skill, patience and determination, compassion and sympathy as they perform the ministry of healing.
Leader We rejoice in the light of these candles, reminders of the presence of God's people, his caregivers, committed to the healing ministry of Jesus. May the divine healer bless them.
Silent Reflection
Song See suggested music
Closing Prayer
All Loving God, on this day we remember healthcare workers here in our own facilities and everywhere.

We pledge our prayerful support to all who give of themselves daily in the healing ministry of Jesus. As they work to cure, speak to soothe, and touch to heal in the power of the Holy Spirit, may they be renewed in their commitment of service to the healthcare ministry. Lay your gentle hand upon each of them as they touch others with your presence. We pray in your holy name. Amen.

 
SUGGESTED MUSIC

"All Are Welcome," and "We Remember," by Marty Haugen, GIA Publications, Chicago.
"We Are Called," by David Haas, GIA Publications, Chicago.
"You Are the Healing," by Scott Soper, OCP Publications, Portland, OR.


This prayer service is adapted from Prayers for Peace and Justice: Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly, by Edward F. Gabriele; Prayers for the Sick, Liturgy Training Publications; Model Catholic Caregiving Service, National Family Caregivers Association.

As we celebrate the jubilee year 2000, we recall that jubilee is about the restoration of the world, the year of God's grace. The church in this jubilee year honors healthcare workers.

Sr. Barbara McMullen, CDP, senior associate, Sponsor Services, Catholic Health Association, St. Louis

"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.

 

Copyright © 2000 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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