Homilies too weak?


#1

I have been a Catholic all my life, attending Mass regularly. Though I am in my 70’s, I have rarely heard a homily that inspired me, let alone condemned my heart or actions. Whereas evangelical ministers seem to hold their congregation’s attention to the point of life changing testimonies. Does anyone else wonder why we aren’t being “fed”? I do realize we are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ but it seems to me we need to hear more about sin and it’s effects on our lives from the pulpit.


#2

No, most of the homilies I hear these days are good to great. Much better than in the 70s or 80s.

If you want an enthusiastic preacher similar to an evangelical, there are some of those around, especially at charismatic Masses.

If you want to hear about sin, find a traditional parish.


#3

Have you ever had the opportunity to attend Latn Mass? (FSSP). Wow – the FSSP priests I have heard are meat and potatoes, not marshmallow fluff (“we’re on a journey” type stuff).


#4

I think it all depends on the priest and parish. In my parish, the preists say some very good homilies that don’t have any sugarcoating to them.
One thing my priest always says in his homilies is that no one goes to a preist after mass and talk to them about the homily or the gospel readings to create a discussion.
Just my 2 cents.


#5

Some priests from orders are also like that. I went to a Mercedarian OF a couple times and heard quite a bit about sin, from a priest with a voice like Fr. Ripperger.


#6

I too long to feel the word of God penetrate my body and soul, maybe we need more sons of thunder.

Apparently St John Vianneys homilies were great and available somewhere online.


#7

I will look around for another Latin Mass however.


#8

Tis_Bearself

    September 7

No, most of the homilies I hear these days are good to great. Much better than in the 70s or 80s.

If you want an enthusiastic preacher similar to an evangelical, there are some of those around, especially at charismatic Masses.

If you want to hear about sin, find a traditional parish.


#9

In an age where many pastors never even mention the words ‘mortal sin,’ ‘confession,’ or, (God forbid!) hell, it is hardly surprising that the strength of homilies can be lacking. God Bless!


#10

Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve heard a good homily at my wife’s church yet…we either walk away asking each other…what was that about or just walk away awkwardly because he said or hinted at something about people who aren’t Catholic.

When she attended her “home” church in the country…maybe 7-8 years ago, his homily may have been 4-5 min long. We’re pretty sure his goal was to make sure open to close wasn’t more than 45 min.


#11

A good homily should help the congregation to advance in holiness.


#12

Staying awake is sometime the challenge…
giphy


#13

You might check out the following site if you’re looking for firm, orthodox homilies:

http://www.reginaprophetarum.org


#14

This is something many of us experience. Now and then we will hear a good homily that is challenging.

It could depend on the parish and the priest giving the homily, but it is very common to hear boring homilies with very little substance.

“Go out and love.”
“We must be like Christ.”
“The Gospel teaches us to live for the faith.”

…and then it doesn’t go further. These homilies aren’t challenging because we walk in knowing these things, but we don’t know what are steps should be. For many of us, we think we are already on our way and doing this, but we may be missing important steps. What if we are in error and don’t know it.

Some subjects are deemed too offensive and hot-button, so they aren’t addressed much or ever.

My recommendation; TALK TO YOUR PRIEST. Let the priest know what you are missing. What you are needing. A good priest will listen and understand and he will want to give you all the information you need to grow in holiness. Encourage him to speak up about certain things or how to challenge you. A good priest will appreciate it.


#15

We are in the same age group and I am a faithful cradle Catholic. In general, the seminaries are doing a better job at teaching homiletics.
The priest generally are instructed to preach from the gospel and other readings. The tend to avoid controversial subjects as they have been told not to discuss them. Discussion on morals are supposed to be in study groups as I understand it.
I don’t agree with it but that is where we are as a Church right now. You can find all kings of videos on the internet, Our parish website has all lot of good stuff available on a host of subjects.


#16

I have experienced the same thing. I think you have a few things going on. First, while I would not say this is true in all cases, but in my experience your observation is the general rule of thumb. I have heard maybe one or two homilies during mass that were compelling and effective, whereas I have had much better experience at Protestant services with regard to the sermons. I think there are a few reasons why. First, I think a lot of it has to do with focus. While the mass is ordered around the sacrament of Holy Communion, largely because of the sacrificial nature of the Catholic Eucharist, Protestant services view Holy Communion more as a sacramental means of proclaiming the gospel. So in our services (this is relevant only to those denominations who hold high views of Communion) the Sermon and the Sacrament are held in equal regard. Second, I think that Protestant seminaries tend to spend far more time on exegetical and homiletical coursework than Catholic seminaries do. Catholic coursework is far more geared to liturgical practices. Lastly, it comes down to doctrine. Doctrine matters when it comes to proclaiming the gospel.

I would say however, that with the post-denominational age, this is changing. Sermons are starting to become more about three points to better praying, five points to being a better husband, etc., etc. The age of buffet style Christianity is taking its toll on the doctrinal foundation that has made effective preachers for so long. My hope is that this changes.


#17

I am surprised at the level of discontent expressed here.

I have no complaints about the homilies.


#18

Every homily has value and is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Maybe the more dare I say ‘duller’ or confusing ones are there to teach us that God is there in the mundane as well as in the ‘bells and whistles’. As another poster said the important thing the is Eucharist and fellowship with each other. There is great humility and good practice in absorbing what you can from a very ‘ordinary’ homily. As others have said there is the internet for other homilies if you so wish.


#19

Maybe it’s a regional thing.

I can think of maybe three bad homilies I’ve heard in the last 2 years. For some months I’ve been going to daily Mass most days, so I get to hear additional homilies there even though the weekday ones tend to be shorter and sometimes omitted (but a lot of priests will do a short one). Of the three bad homilies, one was a deacon giving an overly political/ biased speech on immigration policy, one involved a priest telling his weekday crowd of elderly people they needed to conquer materialism by not buying anything for Christmas, and one was just a priest rambling on for about an hour about whatever popped into his head, everything from how wonderful it would be to have more families of color attend his Mass to how the parents today don’t teach kids basic prayers to how great the Charismatic movement is.

All the other homilies I’ve heard were at least grade B or better. They were not fluffy for the most part, some were about sin and many were about how we could progress spiritually by correcting our thinking.


#20

Okay, I guess I have heard a few duds. One memorable guest homilist, not a priest, a few Advents ago, talked about how we could help Christians in the Holy Land by purchasing their cedar wood carvings and other wares in the Parish Center after Mass. Perfect Christmas gifts, right? He said nothing – nothing! – about the martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East, nor asked us to pray for them or work for peace on earth. Nothing about the birth of our Savior either. Just buy the merchandise. I sent a short email to the pastor about that one.

One of our priests was going through a slump last winter. His homilies weren’t the best. I thought maybe he was ill or something. He has since snapped out of it and delivered some excellent homilies. Not a great deal of fire and brimstone, but the love of God revealed in the Scriptures, and a clear call for us to respond.


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