What Can I Say to Comfort Someone Who is Sick?

Want to avoid saying something foolish to someone who is sick and instead bring genuine and well grounded comfort? Commit Robert Herrick’s 17th Century litany to memory.

(Extra credit if you learn the tune that goes with it.)

His Litany to the Holy Spirit

In the hour of my distress, 
When temptations me oppress, 
And when I my sins confess, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When I lie within my bed, 
Sick in heart, and sick in head, 
And with doubts discomforted, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the house doth sigh and weep, 
And the world is drown’d in sleep, 
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

Whe the artless doctor sees 
No one hope but of his fees, 
And his skill runs on the lees,
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When his potion and his pill, 
Has or none or little skill, 
Meet for nothing, but to kill, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the passing-bell doth toll, 
And the Furies in a shoal 
Come to fright a parting soul, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the tapers now burn blue, 
And the comforters are few, 
And that number more than true, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the priest his last hath prayed, 
And I nod to what is said, 
‘Cause my speech is now decayed, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When (God knows) I’m toss’d about, 
Either with despair or doubt, 
Yet before the glass be out,
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the Tempter me pursu’th 
With the sins of all my youth, 
And half damns me with untruth, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the flames and hellish cries 
Fright mine ears and fright mine eyes, 
And all terrors me surprise, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

When the Judgment is revealed, 
And that open’d which was seal’d, 
When to Thee I have appeal’d, 
Sweet Spirit comfort me! 

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Can I Say to Comfort Someone Who is Sick?

  1. Matt Bates says:

    When Herrick doth go on,
    Til the breaking of the dawn,
    With another verse of song,
    Sweet Spirit comfort me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s