Blessing of Hands

Blessing of Hands

by Sr. Therese Kilkenny MMM             Ireland                         16.01. 2024

First published by MMM in 1980.

The following words are taken from the ceremony of dedication of nurses.
“May God bless your hands in protecting life,
In caring for the sick,
In restoring health,
And in assisting the dying.”

Recently we had such a ceremony in the hospital oratory in Drogheda. It is a simple ceremony, but very meaningful in its simplicity. It takes place just before the offertory of the Mass when the priest traces the sign of the cross on the palms of the hands and closes them together saying the above words.

The blessing or anointing of hands is an ancient custom and in our modern times the blessing of nurses’ hands must have a deep significance for those whose profession commits them to the care and service of others.

For me, the blessing of my hands reminds me once again that these hands touch, comfort, minister unto, reach out to my fellow brothers and sisters. It is fitting that they should be blessed because my fellow brothers and sisters are precious in the Lord’s sight. They are made in his image, his likeness, sacred.

My blessed hands remind me that I must use them with great gentleness, sensitivity and care. Suffering is only when nobody cares. And I must care and communicate that care and concern to others. How privileged I am to be called to His healing ministry!