May a diocesan priest offering the Mass in OF preach a sermon focusing on a specific theme or topic, rather than giving a homily on the readings?
The definition of homily is “short sermon”.
Anyway, yeah, my priest/deacon sometimes talks about something else. This is usually when there’s not much to say about the readings.
Far as I know, the priest may preach on whatever he wants- meaning, he is not obliged to preach on the readings. However, I don’t have a citation for you, but I’m 95% sure that is the case.
The homily must be related to the readings and/or the Mass of the day.
[quote=“General Instruction of the Roman Missal”]65. The Homily is part of the Liturgy and is highly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an explanation of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.
This is a shame. I used to drive home listening to a Protestant minister on the radio explaining the Greek and the Latin behind the readings. Definitely hard hitting and a lot to think about. There is always commentary that the priest can either offer or put into his own words. I don’t believe there’s not much to say about the readings. They’re all valuable or we wouldn’t have them at all.
Originally Posted by General Instruction of the Roman Missal
65. The Homily is part of the Liturgy and is highly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an explanation of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.
“must be” or “should be” ?
Right; there’s a difference between “should be” and “must be.”
Occasionally there’ll be a visitor from one of the missions, and the homily will focus on their work and the importance of our providing support.
Or perhaps “is to be.” One needs to look at the Latin. These types of verbs are never translated accurately. It appears to be a jussive (command) but I don’t have the Latin immediately available.
In practicality though, since I have heard priests, bishops and cardinals preaching on topics that were in no way alluded to in the readings for that day, it appears the common understanding is “strongly encouraged but not required”.
If you would be so kind, could you look at the Latin when you get a moment and give an opinion. I am now very curious as to what it says…
Thanks. Okay I’ve found it. ewtn.com/library/CURIA/cdwlgrm.htm
- Homilia est pars Liturgiae et valde commendatur:63 est enim ad nutrimentum vitae christianae necessaria. Sit oportet explicatio aut alicuius aspectus lectionum sacrae Scripturae aut alterius textus ex Ordinario vel Proprio Missae diei, ratione habita sive mysterii, quod celebratur, sive peculiarium necessitatum auditorum.64
So what does this mean? Looking up another instance in a law dictionary, Oportet quod certa sit res venditur is translated as “A thing, to be sold, must be certain or definite” *
Therefore I would put more weight on “must be.”
Thank you for the effort in looking it up and the translation. Going off just that, it appears a little more leeway is being taken than what may have been in the minds of those who wrote the GIRM.
It is fascinating how much depth there is to even the simplest things.
Thankfully there are these sorts of legal dictionaries on which to make comparisons with. I think they realize now that those translations of the Mass along with IGMR/GRIM, Canon Law, and the Vatican II documents themselves were done either too hastily or with a bias. For example, “haud raro” in the SC, literally “not rarely,” was translated as “frequently,” as in when the vernacular was to be applied. Looking around various uses of the term “not rarely” it seems 5-7% falls within that range, not 100% as people were led to believe. If they meant “frequently” the bishops would have used something like “frequenter” not “haud raro” IMO.
Point is that there is still much to learn from the original documents.
Peace and all Good!!
I’ve definitely noticed this since I took up Hebrew & Latin as part of my Theology studies-I haven’t started Greek yet but studying the languages really opened my eyes to the incredible richness of Scripture, I pray more Priests start using this in their homilies.
Spot on, if they weren’t valuable, why would Holy Mother Church have given them to us as the Mass Readings?