We need to stop complaining about "bad homilies"


Well I certainly haven’t been to all of them. Just…enough.


Agreed. My problem with boring homilies especially if it is incoherent, repetitive and poor delivery, I tend to veer away and shut off. It however, is very rare. There is always something worth listening no matter how little that we can take back from the homilies, simply because we are listening to Christ breaking the word.


We need to complain less in general. But there really are bad homilies. There really are ill prepared homilists. Not every homily has to be great but if a particular homilist has poor homilies every time he should look to improve.

We should also remember that just because a particular homily does nothing for us doesn’t mean it wasn’t perfect for someone else. There can be a lot of ego and selfishness in judging homilies.

Better homilies would be good for the Church, especially since this is the only instruction on the Faith some get. But ultimately we don’t go primarily for the homily.


Yep I have and still do


I imagine then you do a great job of it, preparing for the reading as well as reading it. God bless.


Preaching is hard work. It certainly would be a good spiritual discipline for us to be charitable even if we didn’t care for a particular homily.


That’s pretty funny!


So, @SuscipeMeDomine wants better content. You want better delivery. (And a specific style of speaking that you personally enjoy.)

Your requests speak to subjective style preferences. Suscipe’s speaks to subjective content preferences. Next time you’re at Mass, look around at the congregation, and note how many distinct people (each with specific subjective preferences) are present. Also note that the congregation is of varying age, catechetical understanding, and desire to learn.

And let’s not forget that not every person is a talented essay writer or public speaker.

Are we certain, then, that the “they should put more effort into it” meme is a reasonable approach? :thinking:


Ugh. Not an awesome movie.

The kid was a deacon, not a priest… and the movie showed him giving last rites. Oy… :roll_eyes:

And I won’t even get into the problematic plot elements… :wink:


As I was working from memory about a movie made in the middle 1980’s, I did not remember that the young man was studying to become a deacon on his way to becoming a priest. Sorry for my mistake.
The movie itself was pretty good as it contrasted the difference between some priests who seem to give fluff sermons, not wanting to offend the flock, and those who do there best to tell parishioners what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.
It was well acted and well directed.


Hi Joy. I wasn’t going to post on this thread because I’ve got to “know” some of you and I don’t want be disrespectful in any way. But, anyway, if I may share:

I do at times judge a priest’s homily.

In order for me to prepare my ministry of music, I read and re-read and study the readings, review planning guides and music and select what I believe will best support the readings and the theme of Mass. Some of you know now that we use projection, and it is also my responsibility to choose proper backgrounds pertaining to the readings as well. That is my job and I take it very seriously. Ask my wife who sees me sometimes struggling over this!

By the same token, I believe that it is the priest’s “job” to do the same. Sure some (not all) are busy with hospital visits, teaching, and a variety of other tasks during the week, but that is what they signed up for and were ordained to do, even it means to “knock some sense into our heads.” I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say, please do! The worst offenders are those who use sources of prepared homilies, write some key points on some notebook paper and read it verbatim in a monotone voice without any eye contact at all. It is disheartening to hear a homily that goes off topic and then the Universal Prayer (which I also put together) and the songs I have finally chosen are not congruent.

The Homily is to expound on the readings, and even the Psalm of the day, and equate them to our lives today, so we have the nourishment of the Word to go out and spread the Good News, just as we are nourished on the words, prayers, and communion during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Both Liturgies (Word and Eucharist) should be in harmony with each other and nourish us in both ways. We should not be attending Mass just to receive the body and blood of Christ and some people in the pews think that. The Liturgy of the Word is just as important and the priest must be prepared to deliver effectively, enough so that we sit up and take notice. As an ordained priest, it is their responsibility to understand the readings and deliver a worthy homily, otherwise they would not have a course called “Homiletics” in the seminary.


You are the reason, I “try” to stay to sing the recessional hymn. :microphone::sweat_smile:


Thank you for those kind words. :smiley:


A Homily should be about teaching the Faith and explaining it so that everyone can umderstand it.

I hate when Priests avoid talking about sin or Catholic Theology in their homlies


According to the plot summary I read he was also very pro-homosexual and was himself a former promiscuous bisexual.


It cracked me up after mass at the sacristy I couldn’t help but laugh


Yeah, but wasn’t the point that their interactions caused both to change their styles somewhat? The deacon learned that the “brick over the head” approach doesn’t work as well as pastoral sensitivity does, and Jack Lemmon learned that sometimes, a bit of firmness is necessary. I mean, the whole point of bringing up the different styles of homilies (IMHO) is to demonstrate that both fail to do what they’re supposed to do!

(And, he was already a deacon, not studying to become a deacon – which is why he was preaching at Mass in the first place! :wink: )


The character of the deacon?

Yeah. Well, it was an 80’s movie, after all, and was based on a Broadway play. So, yeah… it brings up themes of the ordination of women and of homosexuality. Pretty par for the course for the 80’s…


I can’t imagine that complaining about “mediocre” or “uninspiring” homilies is encouraging young men to be open to the priesthood. It is a lot of pressure to be inspiring every single week. Also, what inspires one person might not inspire another. You can’t please everyone.

Thank you, OP, for giving me some food for thought.


The deacon character, yes.

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