Saint Joseph Day

The Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, C...

The Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today is Saint Joseph Day for Catholics.  It celebrates the life of the foster father of Jesus Christ.  Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers.  He was a carpenter and taught his trade to Jesus.  At Saint Joseph Hospital they also perform the blessing of the hands.

 

So it seemed only natural to me that the song, “His Hands” by Kenneth Cope would be a perfect fit for Saint Joseph Day.

 

While a truly moving and inspiring song in its own right, the beautiful message it gives is only magnified when done in sign language.

 

Thus began my quest.

 

My friend knows sign language.  She is an expert.  She is skillful, deft, amazing!  I know her from church.  Watching as she signs the hymns was breathtaking.  Her hand movements – smooth, flowing, captivating.  You can feel the Spirit of God just watching her.

 

I wanted to bring those same feelings to the people at Saint Joseph Hospital.

 

I contacted my friend and asked her to teach me “His Hands” in sign language.  She was an excellent teacher, patient, funny, inspirational.  I practiced and practiced and practiced, especially to make my hands move as smoothly as hers.

 

At last it was time.  I asked her if she would like to perform it with me.  She brought her CD and we performed the song in sign language.  I was the amateur, she the professional.  My moves were simpler, mostly the main words.  Hers were more sure and included most of the words.  It was beautiful!  We were able to help those present feel the Spirit of God.

 

That was 3 years ago.

 

Since then, we have been asked to return every year for Saint Joseph Day.  This year I found someone to sing the song for us.  She also played the guitar!  What a wonderful addition to our performance!  And this year we were invited to perform throughout the hospital.  Can there be anything better than that?  Wandering minstrels, roving from floor to floor, sharing this beautiful message with patients, families, and staff alike.

 

Here are the words for your enjoyment:

 

“His hands, tools of creation,
stronger than nations, power without end.
And yet through them, we find our truest friend.
His hands, sermons of kindness,
healing men’s blindness,
halting years of pain.
Children waiting to be held again.

His hands would serve His whole life through,
Showing man what hands might do,
giving, ever giving endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness,
and I’ll not rest ’til I make up my hands what they could be,
’til these hands become like those from Galilee.

His hands, lifting a leper,
warming a beggar, calling back the dead,
breaking bread, five thousand fed.
His hands, hushing contention,
pointing to heaven, ever free of sin,
then bidding man to follow Him.

His hands would serve His whole life through,

Showing man what hands might do,
giving, ever giving endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness,
and I’ll not rest ’til I make up my hands what they could be,
’til these hands become like those from Galilee.
His hands, clasped in agony,
as He lay pleading, bleeding in the garden
while just moments away other hands betray Him,
out of greed, shameful greed
and then His hands are trembling,
straining to carry the beam that they’ve been led to,
as He stumbles through the streets,
heading towards the hill on which He died.
He would die.
They take His hands, His mighty hands, those gentle hands,
and then they pierce them, they pierce them,
He lets them because of love.
From birth to death was selflessness
and clearly now I see Him with His hands calling to me.
And though I’m not yet as I would be,
He has shown me how I could be.
I will make my hands like those from Galilee.
There is another beautiful song in sign language by Paul McCartney entitled “My Valentine”.  It is performed by Natalie Portman:

 

Paul McCartney’s My Valentine  full URL if needed: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Paul+McCartney+My+Valentine+Lyrics+portman&view=detail&mid=ECBF05155070E9830903ECBF05155070E9830903&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR.

 

 

 

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