Canned Homilies - does it matter?

Does it matter to you whether your priest or deacon delivers a homily that he bought on-line, written by someone else?

Why or why not?

It bothers me a lot.

It depends.

Was it a great homily, that he just thought other people needed to hear? Is he literally reading it verbatim, or does he add his own thoughts? Might he have been caught up in some emergency or time-sensitive and important ministry that left him with not enough time to write one of his own?

Why should it bother you at all? What should matter is if it is good homily or not as to its content. Who cares if your priest thought of it or not? I suppose 99% of content of all homilies originate somewhere outside the mind of our current priests, the Church is 2000 years old after all.

I believe in the “old days” it was a very common practice to read as a homily something from another person.

How would you even know if he had done this?

It probably wouldn’t bother me as long as the homily was good. :shrug:

A person who has tuned his ear through love of silence will be able to hear God even in the most banal homily.

There is a message from God in any homily. We have to ask ourselves, “What is God trying to tell me personally today through this man’s words?” And then we have to be able to listen. Listening presupposes inner silence.

-Tim-

Not everyone is good at writing. I don’t see a problem.

Our parish priest is a very nice man but he gives the longest, most repetitive and boring sermons, people have left the parish because of this. I wish he would by something on-line that would be well stated and worth listening too. It would not bother me at all.

fide said:

“Does it matter to you whether your priest or deacon delivers a homily that he bought on-line, written by someone else?”

Over the years, I’ve encountered many priests and Protestant ministers whose sermons could have been vastly improved by either buying sermons or reading a page from a Church Father.

When God calls a man to be a spiritual shepherd and father for His people, I believe He is calling him to something much costlier than becoming a mere reader of others’ thoughts. He is calling him to holiness - that he might shepherd His people to holiness.

Yeah, I’d be all for it if it was a good homily.

fide said:

“When God calls a man to be a spiritual shepherd and father for His people, I believe He is calling him to something much costlier than becoming a mere reader of others’ thoughts. He is calling him to holiness - that he might shepherd His people to holiness.”

Holiness is not exactly the same thing as writing good sermons.

We should not confuse the two.

Did the priest confess to getting his homilies over the internet?

If this happened all the time it might bother me, but if it was a rare occurrence it wouldn’t bother me.

I do not confuse the two. Technically speaking, one of the “worst” homilists I ever heard, is also one of the best - because he is a man of God. When he preaches, he is real: God comes through.

Well, some rather fine homilists post their homilies online for free, presumably to give others some ideas and also to permit them to just use them as they feel necessary.
What is truly regrettable is when people criticize the priest for doing so. (I’m NOT referring to you here). At one of my previous parishes the congregation, who didn’t like the pastor, for other reasons used this as a “tattling point” in a very hurtful letter writing campaign to the Bishop. It was an embarrassing time for that parish. There was so little respect shown for that priest. He was really overwhelmed by preaching. He had other wonderful qualities.
Overall, this is not something to get too upset about. Not everyone is gifted in preaching. Or singing, or dealing with people, or a host of various shortcomings. And don’t we all suffer from some? I know I do.
Peace.

No problem, but I might draw the line if he sets up a projector and plays a video recording of the sermon on YouTube… :wink:

I guess in today’s climate it makes sense. Priest are probably busier now more than ever. Sometimes we all do what we have to.

May God bless all the clergy for their great sacrifice on our behalf.

At one of my previous parishes the congregation, who didn’t like the pastor, for other reasons used this as a “tattling point” in a very hurtful letter writing campaign to the Bishop. It was an embarrassing time for that parish. There was so little respect shown for that priest. He was really overwhelmed by preaching. He had other wonderful qualities.
Overall, this is not something to get too upset about. Not everyone is gifted in preaching. Or singing, or dealing with people, or a host of various shortcomings. And don’t we all suffer from some? I know I do.
Peace.

This…the most painful experience of my life was watching my parish torn apart by a bunch of people, with each a personal issue with the pastor, engage in a petition signing campaign to oust the priest. It was so shameful and hurt so many in more profound ways than they will ever know. Their behavior caused many to leave the church, drop out of RCIA, and other forms of faith crises. I know exactly of what you speak

Our priest simply stands on the steps and gives an unscripted homily straight from the heart. He doesn’t make long speeches, but he is very articulate and warm - so you just have to listen!

He’s also started having a short 30-minute meeting in the Parish House on Saturdays, to which all are invited, to informally discuss the readings for the following day. His intention as far as I’m aware is to listen to what people are saying and then reflect that in his Sunday homily. It’s a really inclusive approach, in my view.

Sometimes even a very holy man has difficulty putting to paper the right words (or coming up with them on the spot) to convey what he wants his people to hear. After all, we human beings quote each other and share other people’s words and writings all the time in order to share our thoughts with one another. That doesn’t make either the person, or the idea false or insincere. Put another way, it doesn’t have to be in the priest’s own words to be a “real” or sincere homily.

God can come through when the man is using another person’s words, too. I can think of several examples of it in the Bible… :wink:

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