Sing unto the Lord with the harp, with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
Soft harp music drifted through the corridor as I stepped onto the oncology unit. Two weeks before Christmas, Chaplain Angelo DeLorenzo had come to play holiday favorites for the patients who unfortunately had to be in the hospital. Their families and most certainly the staff loved to hear Angelo play “O Tannenbaum,” “The Hallelujah Chorus,” and “O Holy Night,” to name a few. Sometimes children visiting a family member would come running out of rooms to stand close and watch him play, fascinated as his fingers strummed and plucked the strings. Other visitors would come to stand at the open doorways of the patients’ rooms to drink in the sometimes soothing, sometimes joyful melodies. The staff always loved Angelo’s time spent on their units, a special gift. His music lightened the moods of many and brought smiles of appreciation.
“One day, I was playing on the cardiac unit. Aides constantly monitor the patients’ heart rates, blood pressures, and other levels. After commenting that the harp music was so soothing and relaxing, one of the aides offered to keep a record of her two patients’ levels, specifically while I was playing. Both patients’ heart rates and blood pressures went down during that time with no other changes in stimuli.”