A Liturgy for Medical Providers

By

O Christ Our Healer,

There is no end to malady, sickness,
injury, and disease in this broken world,
so there is no end to the line of hurting
people who daily need my tending.

Therefore give me grace, O God,
that I might be generous with my kindness,
and that in this healing and care-taking vocation
my hands might become an extension of your
hands, and my service a conduit for your mercy.

For it is often not an easy place to be—
so near to suffering, to injury, to pain,
to emergency and fear and confusion,
and sometimes even to dying and
death and grief—
but I believe it is exactly the sort of place
you would be, O Lord, amongst those
who hurt. So let my practice of medicine be
centered in an understanding of your heart.

Let me practice medicine
because you are a healing God
who feels compassion and extends mercy.
Let me practice medicine
because you are near to those who are in need,
to those who face grief and loss.
Let me practice medicine
as a willing servant of your redemption,
pushing back—by means of my vocation—
the effects of the fall.
Let my presence in this place lend a human face
to your compassion.

Even when my schedule is crammed with
appointments, rounds, or duties, let me never
view my patients as mere tasks on a to-do list.
Give me grace instead to be always—
even in our brief encounters—attentive and
responsive to the hearts of human beings
made in your image.

Let me extend kindness and mercy even to
those who are too angry, frightened, bitter, or in
pain to respond with anything but venom.
Let me especially love them, for they suffer—
even more than from physical ailment—from
a lack of understanding or experience of your
overwhelming grace and mercy and love. Let
their time with me be to them a taste that might
awaken a hopeful hunger in their hearts.

I can do none of these things on my own.
Apart from your grace, I have no grace to give.
So give me your grace in greater measure, O Lord.

Let me find also, in the midst of such constant
need, a rhythm of service and rest that will
enable my own soul to be tended and nourished—
that in the time I spend with patients
I will have a deeper repository of patience
and kindness to share with them.
Teach me how better to balance my duties
and my days, so that this work would not make
me absent from the lives of my family and
friends and church. Let me be well-woven into
those communities and relationships, enjoying
ample time with them, being available to them,
and caring for their needs even as I allow them
to care for mine. Let me never be so consumed
by my vocation that those closest to me
suffer negligence.

I would not just be a doctor or a nurse
or a medical provider, O God.
I would be a minister of your healing
and compassion at work in your world.
I would be a living witness of your love
expressed in a practical care of people.
I would be your disciple in this place, at this
time, among these people.

So give grace, Lord Christ. Give me grace this
day and all days, that I might serve you well
by loving and serving others in this healing
trade, ever laboring in view of that day when
your kingdom will be fully realized, at the great
mending of the world, at the great ending of all
ills. Let me play a small part in that great work,
today.

Amen.

We invite you to join us in praying for our communities, those in medical professions, and those ill with sickness and fear.

This liturgy is from Every Moment Holy by Doug McKelvey. We’ve updated the downloads section of the Every Moment Holy website to include liturgies like this one with special relevance to the coronavirus pandemic.


1 Comment

  1. Brad Irving

    @birvingdo

    This is more of a general comment of thanks towards the rabbit room and the people that make it happen. I am a physician and a father of five kids and this time of the pandemic has been quite challenging for myself as well as my family. I have greatly appreciated the resources that the rabbit room has put out there to help those at home but also to minister to the community as a whole. I’m not in an area that the pandemic has hit very hard (yet) but the preparedness and the anxiety that comes with the virus being around the corner affects everybody. I am a women’s health physician and still have to be on call for delivering babies and caring for the mothers, as well as those who are ill. The time of driving to and from home and the office or the hospital has been some of my favorite time of the day, as I really have enjoyed the rabbit room playlist on Apple Music. I have shared the liturgies that are so timely with my office as well as nurses and also with patients too. Even though this community is one that is essentially virtual, I have really felt the presence of kindred spirits from the things the community is doing. So thank you.

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