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Spiritual Care

Being hospitalized and dealing with illness can be an extremely challenging time. Many people find that talking with a chaplain can help during this period. Chaplains with Spiritual Care Services provide support to patients, family members, friends and staff members at UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

An integral part of our health-care team, chaplains representing many faiths are available around-the-clock to be a caring presence, offer spiritual and emotional support, and listen with openness and understanding. Patients, families and staff are encouraged to call a chaplain when experiencing fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, grief or loss, or when they just need someone to talk to. Chaplains also are available for times of celebration, prayer and rituals.

We are available to support all our patients regardless of beliefs and religious affiliation. Patients do not need to be affiliated with a congregation or faith community to call a chaplain. However, if you do belong to a community, we can notify a faith community of your choice to make a visit. Your minister, rabbi or other spiritual advisor may visit you or your family member at any time.


  • Prayer
  • Guided meditation and relaxation for relief from emotional and physical pain
  • Support groups
  • Support with grief, loss and bereavement for patients and family members
  • Religious rituals or sacraments
  • Pastoral support in times of stress
  • Contact and coordination with your home congregation and clergy
  • Individualized, brief concerts in your hospital room, through the Music Is Good Medicine Program
  • Lifecycle events including memorial services, weddings and commitment ceremonies, baptisms, blessings and welcome rituals for new babies
  • Spiritual literature or sacred texts

We also work with other staff to provide:

  • Support with end of life issues
  • Ethics consultations
  • Spiritual assessment and interventions for healing
  • Family support and participation at family-physician conferences
  • Help in interpreting patients' cultural and spiritual needs to staff, including treatment preferences and dietary restrictions
  • Advance care planning

We also offer the following materials for use by patients and their families:

  • Spiritual literature and sacred texts
  • Ritual items for most faith traditions and spiritual practices
  • Guided relaxation exercise CDs and audio files
  • "Communicating with a Loved One at End of Life" pamphlets

Meditation Rooms

We have mediation rooms at our Parnassus and Mount Zion hospital locations. These are quiet places available to you and your family for reflection, prayer, meditation and comfort.

At Parnassus, our Meditation Room is located on the first floor of the hospital, at 505 Parnassus Ave.

At Mount Zion, the Meditation Room is located in the main lobby of the medical center at 1600 Divisadero St., behind the front desk

Related Information

Ways to Give

How to Reach Us

Spiritual Care
(415) 353-1941

If you wish to call a chaplain, ask your nurse to page the on-call chaplain.

Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education at UCSF is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.