'Blessing of the Hands'

May 16, 2008

Author: Jessica Ravitz

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


They lined up in their scrubs, beckoned by the sound of an eagle bone whistle and the scent of burning sage and cedar. Some had scrambled down from the emergency room, others from behind desks or sterilization processors. On a small green lawn, their hands were purified with water and their work blessed by interfaith chaplains, Buddhist and Episcopal priests, a smattering of other religious leaders and even, for a short bit, Bryce, a therapy dog.

For the seventh year in a row, staff members at St. Mark's Hospital were treated to a "Blessing of the Hands" ceremony this week. The annual program, conceived by Susan Fischer, a St. Mark's staff chaplain, was meant to "bring people together in diversity and unity" and to honor the staff's "healing needs," she explained.

See also: Interfaith, Health