Is it wrong to fastforward the homily?

If someone is reverently watching Mass on internet or on T.V. is it wrong if he fastforwards a boring homily? :dts:


In a word No. Watching a so called boring Homily on TV or the Internet is not the same as if you were actually attending Mass in person where our attention during the entire Mass should duly be focused on God.

Alternatively; when listening to a boring homily while attending Mass our attitude should be one of prayer. I’ve learned throughout the decades in my life that even during boring or repeated homilies something spiritual can be learned if were attentive enough and being careful not to develop a negative attitude every time we hear a boring or repeated homily.

Having prayed on this before catching myself getting bored during the homily, I received an answer for myself. Quite frankly, the answer was one that incited humility as if God were saying to me; (“are you too proud thinking you have mastered all the spiritual teachings in the priest’s homily?”) I think of that question directed at myself every time I hear a boring homily. My answer of course should be one of a humble demeanor.

Praying for the priest too helps.

Yours In the Peace of Christ

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Imagine how bored those poor old miners used to get panning through tonnes of soil just to get the occasional meager pickings of gold … but realizing that the gold was there made it worthwhile, even though you had to work hard to get at it.

Excellent analogy.

Also, just because something is boring to us doesn’t mean what he is saying isn’t touching the life/heart of another. The homily may be just what that person needs to hear to change their life.

it makes sense. like your briefing

Let’s face it, a lot of sermons are bad. At Mass we ought to be as attentive as possible, but you can’t disrespect a recording. Go ahead and skip it, I say.

That makes me think of the homilies that you can find online as mp3 files. Is lack of respect to stop listening to one half way? No, that is not lack of respect it is just a matter of preference. Recorded television transmissions of the Mass are not the Mass and so the rules are different. I would also add that a boring homily could still have something very important for us if we are willing to open our hears and our hearts.

Yes because you wouldn’t be able to do so if the person was in church and if they are acting as though they are in church whilst watching/participatiing in the service on tv. Tempting to do though admittedly. If the service is their church for that service then unless you can skip that bit in church it be not playing ball so to speak to fast forward it on tv because they’re not watching it per se but being a part of it in the way they can. Though I do understand the desire to fast forward a dull homily :thumbsup:


The friend that asked me the question says that when for some valid reason he can’t go to Mass during the week, he watches it on internet.
He says that one of three different priests celebrate that Mass. One of them gives extraordinary homilies, but the other two just go on and on saying the same thing. So the other day, when one of these priests started giving his usual boring 20 minute homily, he listened to it the first minutes and decided to fastforward it. Then he continued to attend devotly the rest of the Mass.
He wanted to know if he did wrong.

I agree with what you said about the need of being humble and never think that one knows more thant the priest, or that one cannot find something that the Holy Spirit inspires him and touches your heart quite unexpectedly.

But I also agree that maybe different rules apply when watching Mass on internet or tv, specially during the week (not a Sunday Mass).

What would you do?


I think that’s a good practice, but it’s not required, and he’s not fulfilling his obligation. The obligation has simply been dispensed. As such, if he found that silent prayer, or watching Web of Faith, or reading scripture, was more beneficial to him than watching mass, there would not be any rule against skipping the televised mass.

[quote=Alma]But I also agree that maybe different rules apply when watching Mass on internet or tv, specially during the week (not a Sunday Mass).

As I said, there are no rules when watching mass on TV or the web. Not only that, there are no rules about fast-forwarding the homily when attending an actual mass. It’s simply not a practical option.

However, I can imagine a situation where you and a priest are stranded in the wilderness (or a space station, or whatever). After awhile, the priest is going to get used to your reactions to his homilies, and he will start tailoring the delivery to your reactions. At some points, you may look puzzled and he’ll slow down or give more concrete explanations. At other times, you may nod your understanding, and he won’t need to belabor that point, but can move on to his deeper message. Nothing wrong with that type of fast-forwarding, in real life.

My friend knows there is no obligation to go to Mass during the week, but he goes daily and when he can’t go he watches Mass on internet.

He was just concerned about fastforwarding a boring homily; he thought it may be like silencing the priest, a little disrespectful…

Personally I think you never know when even the most boring homilist :sleep: will say something really inspired :newidea: that will enlighten you in your spiritual life. :extrahappy:

So I guess every homily is worth listening to (unless of course the priest is saying something contrary to the Church teachings :eek:, but that is not the case here).

And of course, we must always pray for our priests, :gopray: while they are delivering the homily.

What do you think?


I am going to be frank here: there are some homilies I have heard during Mass that I would have liked to fast forward. And I do not believe it is a sin to think that. A bad homily is a bad homily.

However, since I am in church, I listen as best I can, but I am not going to feel bad and beat myself up if I can’t find something I like in the homily. Things are what they are. I just sit there and wait till it’s over.

And I have a feeling there are many others on these forums that think like me, but don’t want to fess up to it because they think others will think they are bad Catholics or something.

A bad homily once in a while is ok, but persistantly bad homilies are not. And a recorded bad homily is an invitation to fast forward, IMO. Don’t feel bad.

And you never know when the most gifted homilist will deliver a real dud of a homily. But in my experience, priests and deacons are pretty consistent. If a homilist is delivering a deathly dull homily, the odds are slim that it’s going to pick up. On the other hand, none of us are the same in the way we listen, so perhaps unlike me you do frequently find nuggets of gold in the sandy desert of a dull homily.

[quote=Alma]So I guess every homily is worth listening to

I’m afraid I can’t agree. A terrible homily is usually not worth listening to. Especially if you have alternatives, which you do if the homily you are listening to is recorded and you can instead choose some other downloaded homily.

If you choose, feel free to keep listening to recorded homilies that are lousy. However, I don’t think your reason should be that you are afraid to offend the disembodied voice of the priest.


Someone I know says she applies ‘Murphy’s law’ to a homily: ‘if it is bad it will surely get worse’, and she knows right away if it is going to be bad or not, and if it is, she does the same as ‘CB Catholic’: -’ I just sit there and wait till it’s over.’- :yawn:

Digitonomy: You suggest that maybe I “frequently find nuggets of gold in the sandy desert of a dull homily”, and I must confess that is not the case at all, but what else is there to do but listen and pray and hope for the best? :shrug:

But I agree with you, if one is watching Mass on internet or taped on TV, one may fastforward the homily (and maybe also the long minutes while the Ministers distribute Communion). No harm in that. :wink:

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