Monday, August 13, 2007

To Honor Florence Nightingale

Life-giving God, who alone have power over life and death, over health and sickness: Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to those who follow the example of your servant Florence Nightingale, that they, bearing with them your Presence, may not only heal but pain and fear; through Jesus Christ, the healer of body andf soul, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This is the collect for the feast of Florence Nightingale. She is the founder of modern nursing. She was a member of the Church of England, who heard her service to the sick as a call from God. A biography highlighting the spiritual dynamics in her life is here. One highlighting the importance of her use of mathematics to study and document the needs of patients is here. The elegant biography of her in Lytton Strachey's The Eminent Victorians is available on line, starting here.

Her feast day is August 12, this year displaced by its fall on a Sunday (I’m not sure why Kiefer says differently, but August 12 is the date in the 2003 Lesser Feasts and Fasts). However, as a hospital chaplain I always observe the day. It is an opportunity to honor her, and to honor all the nurses who have followed her, providing safe, sanitary, professional care to all of us.


Beach Bum said...

Thanks for this. Great blog. Ex-anglican organist/choir master here, now med student.

Mary Beth said...

Thank you for this!! I'm an Episcopal layperson headed to a second career in nursing, hopefully in hospice.

Marshall Scott said...

Mary Beth, you're welcome. I hope you find blessing in your new vocation!