Which kind of Homily/Sermon do you prefer at Sunday Mass?


#1

Which kind of HOMILY/SERMON do you prefer at Sunday Mass?

97% of the time I prefer the Fire and Brimstone homilies. To me a Fire and Brimstone homily would be one in which sensitive subjects are discussed (contraception, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, etc.). These things are widely accepted and sometimes practices by Catholics but are clearly against church teaching. I believe these things are so prevalent among Catholics because we are not hearing about them from the pulpit.

I want and need to hear that if I don’t turn my life over to God and turn away from sin that the possibility of Hell lies ahead.

So many Catholic priests these days give these real watered down homilies with the hope that their not offending anyone. So many of my Ex-Catholic friends that have converted to a Protestant religion have told me this was one of the big reasons they left the Catholic church because they were not hearing the truth anymore. Everyone probably has different definitions for homily styles.


#2

Amen!! I’m with you. I’ve only had 2 priests ever give those type of sermons. The fire/brimstone homilies really make me feel like I’m getting my money’s worth!!


#3

I was going to be a smart aleck and say “short ones”, but really I do prefer short ones that actually make a point rather than long dreary ones filled with psychobabble. :yawn:

Homilies ought to be based on the readings of the day, especially the Gospels. I want to hear what will help me grow in my faith to keep me on the straight and narrow. Not everyone does, though. Too often priests and deacons will preach to please the lowest common denominator instead of challenging them to get in line with Church teaching or encourage them to go to confession and so on.

I am fortunate that at our current parish, except for one priest (who isn’t all that bad really) we are challenged on the major issues such as contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc. The more they preach on these topics and tell the truth the more people come. If only those preaching milksop sermons understood this our parishes would be filled to the brim with strong courageous Catholics who know the truth instead of wimps who are afraid to stand against the great pro-death tide that has swept through 2/3s of the world.


#4

**You’re right. I know this great priest who has just this wonderful personality. He’s very charming, outgoing, personable, remembers everyones name if he wasn’t a priest he’d make a good politician. Everyone including me just adores him. But every time I go to a mass he celebrates I leave feeling empty. I rarely even remember what his homily was about. What I mostly remember about his homilies is the words love and forgiveness. We need to hear about Love and Forgiveness but we need more than that. **

[quote=Della]I am fortunate that at our current parish, except for one priest (who isn’t all that bad really) we are challenged on the major issues such as contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc. The more they preach on these topics and tell the truth the more people come. If only those preaching milksop sermons understood this our parishes would be filled to the brim with strong courageous Catholics who know the truth instead of wimps who are afraid to stand against the great pro-death tide that has swept through 2/3s of the world.
[/quote]

**We used to have this wonderful holy priest, he did not have all of the qualities the other priest that I referred to had but boy oh boy could he preach. He was transferred last summer. I miss his preaching. He told it like it like it was and he didn’t care if it made people feel uncomfortable he was more concerned that people heard the truth than making them feel comfortable. In the case of the first priest I referred to this priest can preach to but his homilies just don’t have the substance. I think with some priests they want to be liked so much they are afraid to tell the truth or they are afraid of losing the parishioners and their money.
**


#5

I voted other. I prefer an orthodox homily. That includes some homilies that cover confrontational topics but others that don’t.


#6

I am sure to thank a priest when they give a “controversial” homily because I know that they are gonna catch flack for it. It also helps for them to see younger Catholics that accept these teachings of the church. It’s typically the older crowd that puts up a fight (ie. kills the messenger b/c of the msg).

I had a priest in San Antonio that didn’t just do fire and brimstone, but he spoke on a higher level of theology because the average parishioner was ROCK SOLID ORTHODOX. The AVERAGE one was. So, they could follow his train of thought into complex, but spiritually rich areas. His sermons would last 20 minutes easy, but that’s what everyone wanted and expected. Plus, he was a convert. Need I say more?

Here he is on the local TV station on a multi-denominational panel discussing the Passion of the Christ. He’s talking with a Jewish woman and a female protestant pastor. He was AWESOME.

Fr. Phillips, da MAN
Rich


#7

Fire & Brimstone as long as it is not all that way. That is, after admonishment, there should be the promise of Good News.

Scott


#8

We have 3 Priests, but the Pastor always says Mass at 11:00 on Sunday ( when I like to go).

But this Pastor always has a homily that is “milch-toast”. He doesn’t want to offend any sinners I think. You don’t get much from that type of homily. He likes to say “God loves you”.

But another priest who says 8:00 Mass will actually do some Chatechesis.


#9

I like a short homily, pertinent to the theme of the mass being said.

“Short” is a key element, as Catholics understand so many different languages, its virtually impossible to pick a tongue which would be appropriate for everyone in attendance.

It can be quite frustrating for a priest to continue on and on in Slovak, for example, when you don’t know what he’s talking about.


#10

I prefer instructional sermons. The fire and brimstone ones focus on you better believe this or do that *or else *but don’t really focus on the why’s or wherefore’s of those beliefs.

Let’s face it, catechesis in this country is terrible. I spent a year in RCIA and came out of not knowing anything about the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

What better opportunity to address this than with the captive audience of those in attendance at Mass. Today my priest gave a terrific sermon on the Eucharist and how we are to approach for Holy Communion (this in light of the recent sacrilege on ebay). I’ve heard sermons describing the history of various parts of the Mass, on why churches are built in particular ways, and on the purposes and practices of fasting and abstinence.

I’ve learned a lot.

A good priest, I think, will preach a good balance of hellfire and brimstone, social justice, instructional, and love-filled sermons. And I’ve been fortunate enough to find a couple of great priests that give great sermons! Deo Gratias!


#11

I’ve heard too many wishy-washy homilies…trying to pacify everyone. I prefer one that is not afraid to challenge Catholics on issues and faith. I want to be made to think about what I am and am not doing, and be steered back to the right track if I am off. Fortunately, my priest is a gifted homilist and although loving, he teaches Catholicism without compromize.


#12

I voted other. We’ve had a substitute priest for a couple of months, due to our priest’s health problems and I’ve loved our sub’s homilies. He always deals with the main message from the readings and really gets whatever point across well. He starts out with a bit of humor to get us sucked in and then “bam” the hit you over the head point he wants us to walk out of there remembering. Excellent stuff!


#13

I voted for “other”–I teach, and I am usually disappointed in the pedagogical quality of the homilies, which are supposed to relate the week’s readings to everyday life.

ALL homilies should do the following: 1] link the readings together, highlighting theme(s) or topic(s); 2] instruct the laity how the Church interprets the readings; 3] suggest how this teaching may be applied to everyday life (and specifically, not just vague suggestions like “opening ourselves to Jesus”).

Now, depending on the week, the homily may take on a more fire-brimstone tenor, or may be more hopeful, more theological, more how-to-act, etc. The priest should be particularly careful on days when the readings are critical to particular Catholic theology–for example, I was pretty disappointed that a recent mass with readings from the "bread of life discourse’ did not even mention how this passage is critical to the Catholic undertsanding of transubstantiation and the Real Presence. On the other hand, some of the parables lend themselves more to discussions of Christian behavior, charity, etc.

Although I like a consistent structure to the homilies, I do enjoy the tenor and subject matter to vary.


#14

[quote=Scott Waddell]Fire & Brimstone as long as it is not all that way. That is, after admonishment, there should be the promise of Good News.

Scott
[/quote]

I’m with you on that one. I went to Mass a month or so ago at a church other than my parish, and even though I went to confession the day before I didn’t receive Communion - by the time the homily ended I was convinced I was possessed by a demon and my whole life as a Catholic had been one big sacrilege.

I certainly think we all (myself especially) need the Hell scared out of us (literally) sometimes, but there is a limit. My two cents, anyway.


#15

All,

A homily is a piece of communication. It involves the communicator, the communication and the communiquees. The communication is derived from the scriptures of the day. The object is to apply this scripture to the lives of the communiquees. Therefore the message will vary according to the problems, dispositions, knowledge etc. of the people the priest is speaking to. This can include any of the above types of homilies, except intructional. A homily is not a catechism lesson.

Verbum


#16

I don’t think I want any of the types listed… I’d prefer a teaching homily: something that links the readings together, and then ties the thread to Church teaching.

The “Fire and Brimstone” variety is needed on occasion, when current events prevade, or when slippery morals are on peoples minds, but again, best as a teaching instrument.


#17

[quote=Verbum]All,
This can include any of the above types of homilies, except intructional. A homily is not a catechism lesson.

Verbum
[/quote]

I disagree with sentiment–how the readings apply to everyday lives necessarily involves catechesis on some level. In any case, the reality is that Catholics increasingly do not receive adequate catechesis, mainly because a smaller percentage attend Catholic schools. Therefore (I think) catechesis must done increasingly at the parish level, which means a greater emphasis on catechesis during the mass (when there is the greatest level of contact between priest and laity).


#18

I perfer the homily to be related to the readings of the day with a strong message, if needed, to make the point.


#19

Political correctness sucks. But fire and brimstone in certain environments may well be a kind of political correctness. Social justice needs to be there, as well as morals.

What I like is when it’s concise, logical, up to the point and not politically correct. What I dislike is when it drags on and on, repeating the same points over and over.

I also very much dislike shouting.

When historical on linguistic details make it in, I prefer them to be correct, as well. From the point of view of eternity, it doesn’t matter, and what’s really important is certainly not this kind of accuracy, but nonetheless, it’s a nice touch.

Theological inaccuracies are a bit more of a problem and same goes for moral preaching which could be misinterpreted. Some things I hear from priests sometimes scare me.

As for tolerance, it’s ****. Tollo, tollere, sustuli, sublatum - to bear with something. Who cares? Charity is key. Love your neighbour. Don’t have to love the stuff he does or talks. But picking at gay people, fornicators, adulterers, “caffeteria Catholics” etc instead of looking in one’s own heart from time to time is hardly compatible with charity, something people had better to be told in brief words.


#20

The one the Holy Spirit provides. Of course, the HS is usually pity.


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