The ‘Blessing of the Hands’ celebrated by area pastors


GALION — On Thursday, the Galion Area Ministerial Association brought the annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony to the chapel at Galion Hospital.

“Not sure how many years we’ve been doing it, but I think it was started by Joel Sanchez, the Homecare Matters hospice chaplain about 15 years ago,” said Bill Seymour, chaplain at Signature Healthcare.

Beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m., there are always two pastors to greet the attenders. Hospital employees or other health-care workers from the community are welcome to attend at their convenience.

The ceremony for each is individualized and takes approximately five minutes. One pastor will ceremonially wash and dry the hands of the hospital worker or caregiver in preparation for the anointing of oil. The second member of the Pastoral team anoints that person’s palms with oil and pray a blessing, recognizing that all healing comes from God and all caregivers are an extension of his hands and heart. Many who attend have been coming for years. It is a moving for many individuals.

Some people become very emotional, but most leave with a deeper sense of peace and purpose for their profession.

“I know God is in this,” Seymour said. “This is the second year that I’ve been involved through the Galion area Ministerial Association. Jesus says that if we minister to the least of these, that is, those who are weak or sick or unable to help themselves, then we really are taking care of him. That’s how strongly he identifies with those who are hurting. No matter what Department these workers come from they are all part of the Healthcare System and therefore doing a great work for God.”

The Galion Area Ministerial Association typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month, rotating the meeting between different churches.

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Staff report