Harvard Divinity School: A Joyful Sorrow

From the Harvard Divinity School:

A Joyful Sorrow- Providing care and comfort for those with COVID-19

Harvard Divinity School: What’s a day in the life of a hospital chaplain during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Erica Rose Long: “It’s incredibly powerful. Last Friday, for instance, I said final prayers for a patient who was dying of COVID. Then I led a spirituality group on the inpatient psychiatric unit about kindness that was just really moving. Later that day, I went to the ICU to meet the family members of a patient that I’ve been praying for over the last month. They haven’t been able to come in because of our patient visitor policy, but I finally got to meet them and pray with them for their young son who was going to die in a couple of days. In general, I listen to people’s stories. I pray with people of all different religious traditions. I lead services for my patients and for staff. It’s all those things in one day and there’s even more than that.”

Sarah Byrne-Martelli: “There’s a shocking intimacy that you have with people no matter what their religious background is. I rarely have Orthodox patients. I do have a lot of Catholic patients. And a lot of people will consider themselves spiritual not religious. That’s one reason I’m a chaplain. I want to be with folks of all different traditions. I mean, you hear everything and see everything. It’s so human and so rich.”

Read more here.