“One year we went on a cruise for our anniversary. After dinner one night we went down to listen to the band that was playing in the room below the dining room. In that moment as they started playing our special song, a feeling of completeness and peace just settled over us enough that I dared to dance for the first time in what felt like a thousand years.
In the same way, music is an essential part of any nursing home ministry because just the right song at just the right time can make a connection to people’s hearts. This chapter will help you to see how you can do that through worship as a part of your outreach. If you have just started visiting a new facility it may have been a long time since the there have heard their favorite hymns. They may have even forgotten the melody and some of the words so our first order of business is to help them start singing again. ” excerpt from New Beginnings in Care Ministry
More to come tomorrow. As always I would invite anyone to share their experiences of any kind bringing music into long term care facilities. Blessings and have a great day
The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2
Never underestimate the power of music. No matter how plain (or just plain off key!) there is a force that flows just below the surface of the notes. A melody is a lot like one of the stones in David’s sling in the Bible story. Goliath had a serious size advantage over the puny teen-aged David. In spite of Goliath’s awesome armor and weaponry, the power of one smooth stone guided by God’s hand was able to penetrate his defenses. Music can be an armament for good if we ask God to guide it to ears that long to hear from Him.
I discovered the simple power of music from two dear shut-in friends, William and his wife Joaquina. For about two years I visited them every Wednesday afternoon and came to affectionately call them “Mom and Dad”. William began to slowly lose the use of his arms, then his legs and he became confined to his bed and recliner. William loved to hear the hymns especially the lively ones. But William didn’t only listen to music. He found that he could still whistle a tune so one of his pass-times was to whistle to his parakeets whose cage sat in the corner of the living room. Whenever William whistled the parakeets chirped loudly. Near the end of William’s life his family filmed a brief video of his two parakeets hopping on his chest while William whistled a song. In the battle of his life William still used the smallest melody to fight.
For those, who like myself, have chosen to do nursing home ministry, I would encourage you to prioritize music. Music’s purpose is often unrecognized and its value underestimated but in its proper place it has the power to touch the hearts and minds of people as nothing else. Whether you are an accomplished musician or an amateur. Simply share the songs of the church and God’s message will take wings and fly!
Excerpt from Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry:
Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry
As special as the Christmas season is for most of us, who cannot truthfully say that now it has passed you breathed a sigh of relief? The same held true in our nursing home service this week. We looked back thankfully to the blessings we shared but
we all agreed to put the carols on vacation and together look forward to a New Year.It felt good to sing the Hymns and to pray God’s help and protection for whatever lies ahead. As we launched into “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” we remembered that in the year ahead some of our people who are wheel chair bound can still walk by faith. To the chorus of “How Great Thou Art” is added the voice from the heart of Judy who cannot get out a single note because of the breathing tune attached to her. In the gentle words of “Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound” we realized that even ears which can no longer hear still listen to His voice. God is good all the time and all through every one of our years. He is good when we are young and He is good as He carries us to old age. He is a friend that still sticks closer than a brother in special ways when we can walk only by faith, sing only with our spirit and hear only His still small voice!
Today I lost a dear friend after a long battle with cancer. The sadness that I have at knowing I can no longer pick up the phone or get in the car to see Maria is strong. But stronger still is the peace which I have knowing she is in the throne room of grace and in the presence of Jesus. I have found over the years that at moments when words no longer come God has given us music and songs that can connect us to heaven. How I need that connection today. If you also are in that place I pray this short video will be a comfort and blessing to you.