It’s not the language used. It’s what the person going to Mass puts into Mass.
- There’s more to the TLM than Latin.
- Those homilies are in English. They’re just homilies.
EDIT: I should also say that I have never heard nor seen a homily in the TLM being done in Latin. It’s always in the vernacular. Typically the priest will read the readings over again in the vernacular (or at least the Gospel), say some announcements for the parish, and then put on his biretta and make the sign of the cross before beginning the homily.
How many churches have you attended? I would assume a lot since you made such a sweeping generalization.
Define boring. To me, people who only care about being entertained and deriving instant gratification all the time are VERY boring.
Something can be learned from EVERY homily either as a blessing or as a lesson. Depends on what mindset you are listening with.
- Inexperience in researching and writing homilies esp if a new priest.
- Difficult gospel reading to be adapted to a particular situation, childrens Mass, Mass in a nursing home, or difficulty in getting across points without offending a lot of parishioners. - abortion, adultery to name just two, and making it understandable for all including children without being empty for adults.
- Health of the priest - currently sick, or due to illness or old age - poor memory.
- Lack of time - called out to visit the dying in hospital including emergency baptizms, and many other duties.
- Talent in writing homilies. The exact same as it was in school - not everyone had the gift of writing well and fluently and eloquently, some did & some struggled.
Perhaps as an exercise you could try writing a homily on this coming Sundays reading, with it being long enough that when you read it out loud it lasts for 10 minutes.
I try to picture how I would feel if I were at the ambo and knew someone was criticizing me. It often inspires me to try to greet the priest after mass and thank him or wish him a good day. The next homily might not be any better, but my impression of him will have changed the next time he approaches the ambo, and at least I’ve done what I can to be kind versus unkind.
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Also! Look up Father Larry Richards he posts his homilies they are awesome.
Boring? not ‘meaningful’?
The priest in your parish has to prepare homilies every Sunday and holy day and probably several weekdays as well, not to mention for weddings and funerals.
He needs to make those homilies reflect the readings for that Mass. He needs to make them simple enough for the young and less ‘intellectual’ to be able to understand SOMETHING of benefit, yet ‘deep enough’ that he doesn’t ‘insult the intelligence’ of the well-educated. He needs to be certain to appeal to men, women, young children, teens, the elderly; the rich, the poor, the in between; those in good health, fair health, and poor health; those who are cradle Catholics as well as ‘just became’ Catholic as well as those who are ‘not Catholic but visiting’. He needs to speak loudly enough to be heard in the back, but not so loudly he bothers the front row. He needs to speak neither too slowly nor too quickly. He needs to make eye contact but not ‘intimidate’; he needs to keep things ‘upbeat’ but not be too jokey’; he needs to be serious but not glum. He needs to speak in sound bite but incredibly memorable ways, yet speak with enough depth to make things crystal clear to all.
Get the point? Maybe you should be trying to find out why you think something is boring. Is it boring because you don’t want to hear it --and if so, is it something you might need to work on? If it’s meaningless to you --maybe you’re a single male and father in his homily is talking about how the father felt about the prodigal son’s return, and you don’t relate because who cares about the old dude anyway --maybe there are plenty of men out there in the church thinking about their relationships with their sons and getting plenty of meaning.
So give yourself some time to grow and you might ‘get more out of’ homilies. . .
Not at my parish either! In today’s homily, Father was REALLY on fire.
Checkout the Institute of Catholic Culture for some great Sunday Gospel reflections so that you are more prepared for the Liturgy. Here’s the reflection form this Sunday’s Roman lectionary (I’m assuming your Latin rite) and they come out usually at the middle of the week.
I second Father Larry’s homilies. Also Father Mike Schmitz here at
I’m, also going to start listening to those by Father Jonathan Meyer on You Tube., They seem very good to check out.
Where I attend (a chapel that’s part of a military hospital), the priest (who is part of the military) reads from a prepared, written homily, and finishes in five minutes. The homily is clear and concise.
You remind me of a story in which a preacher was preaching in a church with a strong “Amen pew.” He struggled and just couldn’t get a cogent message going. Eventually, the Amen he heard was: “Help him, Jesus! HELP HIM!!” Well, it does help if you are rooting for a homilist’s success.
This is a story from a book by Mr. Rogers that really struck me:
By now, you probably know what I believe: That at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit who longs for all that’s best in all of creation – a spirit who knows the great potential of each planet, as well as each person, and who, little by little, will love us into being more that we ever dreamed possible.
When I was a seminary student taking my first homiletics course, one Sunday I heard the worst sermon anyone could ever give…I thought! A substitute preacher had come to our church and, in his sermon, went against every rule that we had been taught in class. As he finished, I was ready to give him my unspoken failing grade; but I happened to look at the woman who was sitting beside me. With moist eyes, she turned and said, ‘That preacher said exactly what I needed to hear.’
Well, that service turned out to be one of the most important times of my life. Obviously, something had happened between that preacher’s poor sermon and that woman in need. It hadn’t happened to me. Of course, I had come there in judgment – not in need.
Ever since that day, I have recognized that the space between a person who is doing his or her best and a person who has come in need – that space is holy ground. The Holy Spirit can use whatever we offer to speak to another person’s heart. So whenever I make a television program or give a speech or just talk with a neighbor, I realize that all I need to do is give the best that I can, and God will translate it into whatever is needed most.
There aren’t many homilies that really have nothing to offer. Some go longer than you need them to go–let them. You can just spend the time thinking about whatever has been said that helps you. Some barely seem to say anything–chew on that little bit. There aren’t any homilies that can reach you if you go in without an appetite. If you go in with an appetite, though, you may be surprised what the Holy Spirit says to you. That’s the voice that’s the most important. When the Liturgy of the Word starts, pray to have an hungry heart for what is being said to you.
Sounds like a Father M in my area. You aren’t in North Alabama are you?
Because we are boring. Too bored with Christ’s presence to actually listen.
Try this: take a note pad and pen. Each homily will normally have three main points to ponder. Listen for them. Write them down. Do a little research and put them into pracrtice.
Will you fail in some regard? Of course! Thart’s why we have the Sacrament of Penance.
Where to begin? Mass is not a performance, and the priest isn’t there to put on a show for you. YOU are responsible for your spiritual growth. Such growth does not happen in ten minutes, once per week. Whether or not you’re “getting anything” out of the homily, you should be reading, praying, and otherwise supplementing your education as a Catholic.
@blackforest, your point is often overlooked.
There are no world religions or ancient wisdom that suggests that happiness, contentment or the attainment of excellence comes from making your boredom or discontent someone else’s responsibility.
There is a reason that no enduring wisdom teaches that our growth as human beings depends on regular speeches from someone else. It is our thirst for wisdom and for disciplining ourselves to practice it and our openness to put ourselves out there for a personal encounter with God that changes us as persons.
A homily is important but it isn’t holiness poured into our left ear. It is direction, it is edification and it is a source to start our hearing what the Word of God has to say to us, but to a great extent we get out what we ask ourselves to put in. Read the lives of the saints. They were open to sources of grace like homilies, but that was only one part of the grace that nourished their progress.
They aren’t required, and some priests will skip them, but the vast majority of priests I encounter at daily Mass do say a homily. Some of them keep the daily Mass homilies very short (a couple of minutes), others do a fairly involved homily although it’s usually still shorter than the Sunday homily. It depends on the preference of the priest, who likely takes into account the time demands on his audience (is the Mass at 6 am with people rushing to work, or 6 pm when they have left work already).
My homilies are never boring.