This Sunday, we'll be having our afternoon Service of Healing. Coincidentally, this month's American Organist magazine included the following facts from recently published scientific studies in its letter from the president:
"Singing in a choir can rase the level of the disease-fighting protein immunoglobulin A in singers...by 240%."
"Choral singing may reduce stress, improve mood, and increase lung function."
"Listening to 30 minutes of claming music is equal to the effect of a dose of a prescription tranquilizer." (That isn't to say that organ music should put you to sleep!)
Those are just some of the physical effects of singing and listening to music - things we do every Sunday. That doesn't even consider the psychological benefits.
I'll close with a bit of text from ELW 610 "O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come." I think the hymn captures the spirit of the healing service: we ask not just for relief from our own physical suffering but for strength and faith and wholeness for our community and the world.
Grant we all, made one in faith,
In your community may find
The wholeness that, enriching us,
Shall reach the whole of humankind.