World Nurses Day is celebrated on 12th May (birth date of Florence Nightingale). How might you creatively celebrate the nurses in your congregation and community?
A short liturgy for use in worship
Let us take a moment of silence and be aware of God’s presence among us.
A reading from the letter of Paul to the Thessalonians
“We were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.” (1Thess 2: 7b-8)
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
We gather to celebrate and thank God for nurses in our health care community who provide consistent comfort and care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Theirs is one of the toughest jobs around – requiring patience, intelligence, listening, conflict management, calm, quick thinking and endurance – all in a fast-paced, often stressful environment. It is fitting that in scripture, when the prophets and preachers want to describe the height of compassion, they frequently turned to the image of the nurse – the image of one who gives not only medicine, but the gift of themselves to others.
Let us call to mind some of the nurses who have touched our lives and our work in a significant way, and join in praying for them:
Gentle God, we come in thanksgiving for the nurses in our midst. You have given them a lofty vocation – to mirror your love and compassion for the sick. When we watch them at work, we sense your presence in their words and deeds.
Gentle God, we ask you to draw near to these women and men who have given their lives in service to others. Fill their minds and their hearts with your wisdom and mercy that they might truly be your hands and feet in our institution.
Grant them the perseverance and strength needed to do their job well.
Give them courage to speak on behalf of those they serve and advocate for those in greatest need.
Comfort them in their sorrows and disappointments, in their losses and worries.
Shelter them in times of trial, creating spaces for them to rest and to listen for your voice.
Hear us, O Divine Nurse, and answer our prayer, for you are all good and all kind and never tire of ministering to our needs. Amen.