How long do your Priests homilies last?

Title :slight_smile: I have trouble with one of our Franciscans [we have a group of them that rotate saying Mass at our Parish] who speaks for about 30-40 minutes. It really is tiresome, and he gets very excited and starts shouting and walking up and down etc. I know people have actually stopped going because they just can’t take it. I think he knows, and shortened them to about 20-25 minutes but that to me is still a very long time, especially since 60% of the homily seems to me to be side-tracking and not focussed on the Gospel.

My favourite Priest always speaks for about 10 minutes and gives great homilies. I really enjoy listening to them, short, to the point and make a lot of sense.

A typical Sunday homily in my parish lasts between 8 and 15 minutes

In my diocese the “unwritten rule” for homilies is that they should be about 8-10 minutes.
I have heard priests preach for 20 minutes and it seemed like only 5, and I have heard priests preach for 5 minutes & it seemed like an eternity!! :wink:

I have no problem with a longer homily, so long as the priest (or deacon) is prepared!
Overly long, disconnected, rambling homilies, IMHO, do not serve their purpose which is to instruct the people.

Just my :twocents:

Our pastor is good for about 20 minutes. It is as you described. He gets excited, walks around, and speaks well past the point of being effective. The congregation looks as if it has been given a sedative. The deacons are worse. They try to copy the length and do it from typed scripts. Dull, dull, dull.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love a great homily. The problem is when they are either streams of thought or when they contain too much filler so that they can reach a certain length.

We have a priest in residence who is the opposite of our pastor. He too gets excited and uses notes, but he is to the point and normally runs about twelve minutes. No one sleeps.

When we lived in another state, we had a priest who knew how to make a homily strike to the heart. One was only a single sentence. He hit the points we should remember, hit them hard and dead-center, and concluded. The homilies would play over in my mind all week. I doubt that priest ever went to ten minutes once, but his homilies were the most effective I have yet heard.

Our parochial vicar gives the homily at daily 7am Mass and I don’t think it could be more than five minutes long. Father’s homilies are a little longer but I am not sure how long… I’ll try to figure it out today :smiley:

In my new parish they always seem very short to me, they are probably 10 minutes or so. In my old parish the priest would often speak for much longer but it wasn’t rambling or off-topic and he was a very good speaker. To be honest I got so used to the longer homilies that when I moved I was shocked at how short the homilies at my new parish are.

The average length is around 10-15 minutes. Now I have heard three minute homilies that were terrible and 20 minute homilies that I wish were longer. So it really depends on the homilist and how prepared he is. Really giving a good homily is a gift that not everyone has. But the real intent is to focus on the readings and make them relative to us today however long it takes… teachccd

10-15 minutes usually, in my experience.

At my first parish when I was a little kid the homily was always naptime to me and I hated it, I ended up watching my parents wristwatch and it was consistently 15 minutes long. This seems to have ended up the most common length in my experience.

The shortest homily I ever heard was when I was in 7th or 8th grade and it was only a few seconds long, when the priest told us to think about something or another. I have a feeling his order didn’t get an enthusiastic response.

8-10 minutes. Rarely longer. And our priest never uses notes! I’d never seen that before!

At my parish, the homilies on Sundays and Holy Days last for about 10-15 minutes. However, during Daily Mass (which is less than half an hour), it is more like 5 minutes. At another parish that I have frequented, the Daily homilies are somewhat longer.

Too bad that many politicians (who often do not even write their own speeches) do not follow such an example!

In my opinion the best homily is 5 minutes or what seem to be no more that 5 minutes (i.e. attracts the audience). Very few priests are capable to that. The attention span of most people over 40 (including the priests) is no more than 15 minutes around one topic, which limits the length of a good homily to 15 minutes.

Our priests keep this rule, although the new pastor once spoke over 40 minutes, and yesterday he spoke close to 30 minutes yesterday night. That in itself would not the problem, it was an interesting sermon about Bernardo and Jacinta the newly beatified children of Fatima; but later he realized that he spoke too long, so omitted the prayer of the faithful, and recited the short Canon instead of the regular Roman Canon.

The moral is that the available time should limit the length of the speech, and the reverent Mass is more important than the length of the homily.

Today’s homily was given by the guest priest who is here for the Parish Mission. He was very… dynamic (which I have to say is not my favorite; reminds me too much in a bad way of my Baptist upbringing), but still only about 10 minutes.

Mission is every night this week, and I’ll be going to at least most of the Masses to see what this Father has to say.

We have a record-setting Pastor. He has talked for, I kid you not, 40 minutes sometimes! Mass is 90 minutes those days. When he came to our church, we had to re-arrange all the Mass times because the next batch of people would come to church only to find the parking lot and church still full! A 90 minute Mass is just beyond many people’s ability to cope, especially children! And there is no reason for him to talk that long.

A lot of people left our church because of that. His belief is that we should never begrudge Jesus the extra time on Sunday, it is as though he is punishing us for not being holy enough or something. His homilies are really good, but way too long. He’s super-intelligent, really overqualified for a parish priest. If he was a professor in the seminary he’d be in his element.

He’s intractable about that too. He jokes about it sometimes, but everyone gets tired of it. and he defeats his own purpose if we leave church angry because he’s just rambled for 40 minutes. It’s not his show, it’s supposed to be about Jesus’ sacrifice!

Maybe I should not have been on the forums this morning because it lead to my timing today’s homily. It was 16 minutes of discussing our archbishop’s annual appeal. I felt myself going numb about half way through.

An earlier post was right. A well-prepared an effective homily can be quite short. Rambling on and on never is.

I think it is worse at our parish in that the posted starting time is just like suggested retail price. We start late and we end later.

I really don’t know. I purposefully avoid looking at my watch during Divine Liturgy. However, I have noticed that our priest’s homilies tend to be longer than the deacon’s homilies. I will also add that think it is absurd to suggest that homilies should be limited to 5 minutes. I think there’s rarely a good reason to have homilies longer than about 20 minutes. But no longer than 5 minutes or so? The preaching of the Gospel is important enough that we ought to discipline ourselves to listen to a homily that takes longer than a mere 5 minutes. As a high school teacher, I’ve noticed that even the most undisciplined teenagers can maintaint attention for more than 5 minutes for things that are important to them.

At our Parish, our Pastor’s homily usually lasts 8 to 14 minutes. The other priest who is in residence has a record of 43 minutes.

Not that you’ve timed him or anything!

The Dominican parish we’ve been visiting lately has three outstanding preachers on staff. Well, they are the Order of Preachers, anyway! In any case, I have no idea how long the homilies are in minutes and seconds. I do know that at the end, I’m always sad to have them stop.

My favorite priest says a long homily, but time flies. He explains the first and second readings thoroughly and then explains the Gospels. From interpretations, historical context, Jewish traditions, etc. Its like a compact Bible study. Then he ties all three readings together.

Over at the Ukrainian parish I know belong to, there’s no set time. Sometimes its a quick 5 minute homily, sometimes its 15-20 minutes. It all depends on how he wants to discuss the day’s Gospel or Feast Day or Commemoration.

This so describes my pastor. His homilies are absolutely wonderful…something you can take home with you. Sometimes you swear he is talking just to you. He speaks from the heart. He knows the point (or points) he wants to make. He makes them. And he is done. I could listen to him all day, but like you, I doubt if they ever run 10 minutes.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.