Homilies, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


#1

Everyone has their strenghts and weaknesses even priests. Some priests are very good homilists and some … well… let’s just say they have other strengths. How would you rate the homily you heard this week?


#2

There are many permanent deacons in the U.S. now. They work very hard to deliver a good homily on the Sundays that they preach. Some priests get too busy with parish admin duties and don’t have the necessary hours that it takes to develop a good homily. The formula is one hour of prep for every minute of homily. In our diocese the people have told Bishop that they love the deacon’s homilies. If others could take some of the duties that do not require a priest, Father would have the hours to spend on his important task of preaching God’s word.

God answers knee mail!


#3

[quote=Deacon Tony560]There are many permanent deacons in the U.S. now. They work very hard to deliver a good homily on the Sundays that they preach. Some priests get too busy with parish admin duties and don’t have the necessary hours that it takes to develop a good homily. The formula is one hour of prep for every minute of homily. In our diocese the people have told Bishop that they love the deacon’s homilies. If others could take some of the duties that do not require a priest, Father would have the hours to spend on his important task of preaching God’s word.

Deacon, I appreciate the fact that priests have many duties…however, being prepared to preach God’s word should rank above any admin. duties. A priest’s homily may be the only catechesis that a parishioner may receive…it is the opportunity to start the development of a spiritual relationship with each parishioner… an opportunity not to be missed… Deacons can certainly do an outstanding job delivering homilies. I just think that if a priest doesn’t have time to prepare a good homily that he might need to reasses his priorities.
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#4

For almost a year I have been preparing a short reflection on the readings each week. It takes me several hours just to get a paragraph for each of the three readings, plus an introduction and conclusion. Needless to say, it has given me newfound respect for the work priests and deacons put into actual homilies. Whenever I’m tempted to critique the Sunday homily harshly, I compare it to my own meager reflection, and believe me, the humility I have been able to feel for the past year has done me some good! In addition, it is easier to listen to even a mediocre homily when I have already done the “legwork” of reflecting on the readings prior to hearing them proclaimed.


#5

[quote=Deacon Tony560]There are many permanent deacons in the U.S. now. They work very hard to deliver a good homily on the Sundays that they preach.
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I’m sorry I specifically mentioned priests in my poll and omited deacons. :o My mistake, I often forget the role of deacons because we have none in our diocese.


#6

We sleep through homilies that have nothing to do with the readings or the gospel. The priest thinks he is doing a great and teriffic job and NO one can tell him otherwise. Right out of the “emperors new clothes” childrens story. I was instructing my children to write down the gospel reading before mass and then listen to Fathers homily. Well they wrote the gospel down twice, listened to the homily and then asked me what did the homily have to do with the gospel. I told them the truth: nothing. I could not understand the value of homily that did not mention Jesus Christ, the Pope, the Vatican, the Holy Sacraments, etc and only referenced historical events and cute stories about red wagons. These cute stories are just that. We need help understanding the word of God, teachings of the Catholic Church, and how to apply all this to how we live.

I may be missing the role of the homily in the mass, and will be the first to admit my failings. I can count on this forum to educate me.

God Bless


#7

Our priest said that there are times when he is tempted to call down fire and brimstone from heaven (like James and John in Sunday’s gospel) to smite the people in the congregation who are reading their bulletins while he is preaching.

I would have given him higher marks but he somehow worked in a quote from Teihlard de Chardin at the end… isn’t he frowned upon by the church?


#8

[quote=Bobby Jim]Our priest said that there are times when he is tempted to call down fire and brimstone from heaven (like James and John in Sunday’s gospel) to smite the people in the congregation who are reading their bulletins while he is preaching.

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Sometimes the bulletin is much more interesting than the sermon but it’s still rude.


#9

I said last week’s homily could have been worse - actually, it could have been much worse. Even with the three star rating, though, I think we are lucky to have this priest. His problem is that he is new, and hasn’t had much experience in developing really good homilies.

I think he’ll do a great job once he’s been around a year. The other priests in my parish are generally very good homilists. I’m very lucky in the parish I belong to.

John


#10

I went to 2 Masses this week. Both homilies were ok. One was by an 88 year old Passionist missionary. His was better than the other one. I can’t even remember the 2nd homily, so it probably wasn’t all that great.

Homilies are tough, tough, tough to write. And tougher to give. I had the privilege of sitting through some of my husband’s homiletics classes, in which his professor just completed his PhD. in Homiletics. He was brutal, but every single one of the men in that class came out knowing how to give a good homily.

On the flip side, those classes ruined me for listening to relatively untrained priests and deacons. I admit, there have been times during some of those homilies that I’m planning my dinner menu just to keep from nodding off. Sometimes they’re all over the map. You really don’t know what it is you just heard, no matter how hard you listen.

Every priest/deacon should be thoroughly trained in before stepping up to the ambo.


#11

Mine was great–he even addressed Vatican I, which states it is impossible to please God without the Catholic Faith, whcih entailed Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. Then again, that is what you come to expect at Traditional Mass, whereas, at Novus Ordo you are lucky to get anything relevent to any matter whatsoever. God bless.


#12

This week was fine – it was the pastor, who is usually OK. We have this one guy, though, who almost always manages to say something that seems to imply something heretical without actually saying it. For example, one week he talked about how Catholics “used to worry” that they would go to Hell “accidentally” by committing a mortal sin and then dying before they could go to confession. He referred to this as being “a little silly.”

He didn’t say that we wouldn’t go to Hell for mortal sin, but he certainly left that interpretation open.

Another week he read a passage about a church that claimed to welcome everyone, regardless of race, age, sex, marital status or – here it comes – sexual orientation. He rehtorically asked whether this seemed to be what St. Paul was talking about when he referred to the Church as being “one body.” Now, homosexuals can be part of the body of Christ, of course, and he didn’t come out and say that homosexual acts were acceptable, but he sort of left that reading hanging there.

Yet another time he talked about the death penalty and how, if he was pro-life, he couldn’t pick and choose which lives he favored. He didn’t quite say, “The death penalty is just as bad as abortion” (which would contradict Church teaching) but again, he seemed to imply it.

He once asked the congregation what the “normative sacrament for forgiveness in the Church” was. His answer was Communion. He offered no further explanation, leaving open the inference that confession is unnecessary, with no caveats about confession being necessary for mortal sin.

Every time he gives the sermon, there seems to be one of these pesky near-heresies. He also likes to omit the Penitential Rite and to insert peaces of hyms into the Eucharistic prayer. During the Easter season, he taught the congregation that, if he said, “He is risen from the dead! Alleluia,” we were to reply, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!” He would then interject this throughout the Eucharistic prayer as well as his homily.


#13

I think a better question would to say on average than this past week. The past two weeks we have had a visiting priest so we actually had a homily. The unfortunate reality is when our pastor returns next week we will return to his usual senseless dribble. He gives the same homilies week after week that my family and friends have them numbered and they are seldom on the reading. Please help me pray for him that he comes up with new homilies.


#14

[quote=bquinnan]This week was fine – it was the pastor, who is usually OK. We have this one guy, though, who almost always manages to say something that seems to imply something heretical without actually saying it. For example, one week he talked about how Catholics “used to worry” that they would go to Hell “accidentally” by committing a mortal sin and then dying before they could go to confession. He referred to this as being “a little silly.”

He didn’t say that we wouldn’t go to Hell for mortal sin, but he certainly left that interpretation open.

Another week he read a passage about a church that claimed to welcome everyone, regardless of race, age, sex, marital status or – here it comes – sexual orientation. He rehtorically asked whether this seemed to be what St. Paul was talking about when he referred to the Church as being “one body.” Now, homosexuals can be part of the body of Christ, of course, and he didn’t come out and say that homosexual acts were acceptable, but he sort of left that reading hanging there.

Yet another time he talked about the death penalty and how, if he was pro-life, he couldn’t pick and choose which lives he favored. He didn’t quite say, “The death penalty is just as bad as abortion” (which would contradict Church teaching) but again, he seemed to imply it.

He once asked the congregation what the “normative sacrament for forgiveness in the Church” was. His answer was Communion. He offered no further explanation, leaving open the inference that confession is unnecessary, with no caveats about confession being necessary for mortal sin.

Every time he gives the sermon, there seems to be one of these pesky near-heresies. He also likes to omit the Penitential Rite and to insert peaces of hyms into the Eucharistic prayer. During the Easter season, he taught the congregation that, if he said, “He is risen from the dead! Alleluia,” we were to reply, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!” He would then interject this throughout the Eucharistic prayer as well as his homily.
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I’ve experienced what you’re referring to as well, and it is so frustrating. Perhaps not so much in terms of “heresy” per se, but definitely in misleading remarks. Like comments that “a professor of mine interpreted the loaves and the fish story in the gospel as the disciples finding enough food among them to share” without any follow up as to whether the priest in question bought that interpretation. Or a comment to the effect that the Church puts forth a “plurality” of issues for us to consider in the election, without clarifying that some of them are to be weighted differently than others.


#15

[quote=ATexasCatholic]I think a better question would to say on average than this past week.
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I thought about that but not too many people hear great homilies or poor homilies on a regular basis so all of the answers would have been closer to the middle. What I was really curious about was a snapshot of a period to see how many people hear really great vs. really bad ones.


#16

[quote=Bobby Jim]Our priest said that there are times when he is tempted to call down fire and brimstone from heaven (like James and John in Sunday’s gospel) to smite the people in the congregation who are reading their bulletins while he is preaching.

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Come to think of it, if I were him I would direct the fire and brimstone at the people whose cell phones, pagers, wristwatch alarms, etc. go off during the homily (or the consecration, or other parts of Mass).


#17

Once in a while, we have a visiting priest from Toledo that works with and ministers to the drug and aids cases in the diocese. He usually patterns his homilies around his experiences working with those people, and they are really interesting. He is a little off the wall sometimes, but I would give him 4 stars anytime. God be with him!


#18

I agree with Bill and Cognovimus–I call this phenomenon “Phairesy”–skirting the edges of heterodoxy while phairisaically trumpeting how sophisticated and suave the homilist must be to have this cutting edge point of view.


#19

Had a new priest on Sunday and his first homily was great. He was just ordained this past spring and he spoke about how he came to be a priest at the age of 47 after almost 20years in the banking industry foreclosing on mortgages.


#20

On a scale of 1 - 10, I can safely and honestly state that I have NEVER (except on EWTN) been at a Mass (in person) where the homliy ranked higher than a “5”… I ranked one homily as a “1”…where the renegade priest stated that if Rainbow Sash wanted Comunion, he was gonna give it…and that Mohammed ascended to Heaven as well… if he wanted to wear a Kerry button its his business…I ranked another (recent) as a 2…where the founder of Mc Donalds was compared to Jesus as having a dream and a mission… the others I have sat thru have never been higher than a 5…EVER… I’d drive a whole 30 minues on a Sunday if I could get a Father Corapi or a William Casey live in person. :frowning:


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