Author Topic: sermon vs. homily  (Read 2379 times)

Online Ruth Martin

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sermon vs. homily
« on: September 21, 2010, 03:35:18 pm »
I've been listening to the archives of the Journey home lately, and one of them mentioned that they didn't realize that what the priest said in the mass wasn't a sermon, it was a homily.

I was under the impression that the only difference between the 2 were the length, but the way it was talked about makes me wonder....what is the real difference between a sermon and a homily?

Thanks!

Ruth
"To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement."

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Offline Estelle

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 04:03:53 pm »
How interesting, Ruth, that this very question came up recently from a friend of mine who's not Catholic. I didn't know the answer so I asked my favorite priest.
He said a homily is always based on the reading or readings of the day but a sermon can be on any subject for the instruction in morals of the congregation. Actually "instruction in morals" was not his wording but it's the closest I can remember.
Lord, I want to do only Your Holy Will.
Please increase my trust in You.
Let my words and deeds be only a reflection of You.

Online Ruth Martin

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 04:15:28 pm »
I see....it is a matter of whether they are following the church ordained scripture passages or their own whim  ;D ;D ;D 

I have to say that I like the idea of a  homily better than a sermon more and more  :o

Blessings!

Ruth
"To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement."

--St. Augustine of Hippo

Offline Estelle

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 07:34:30 pm »
Hi, Ruth,
Naturally after I went back downstairs I remembered the wording. It was "to exhort the faithful".
Lord, I want to do only Your Holy Will.
Please increase my trust in You.
Let my words and deeds be only a reflection of You.

Offline Betty

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 11:21:32 pm »
I wouldn't say that pastors are just "following their own whim" in attempting to exhort their people with sermons by using scriptural passages other than those ordained by the RCC for that particular Sunday.  That's not really fair.

Many, I think prepare prayerfully and thoughtfully,  hoping to feed their flock.

I've heard enough homilies given by priests focused on political causes,  or with fundraising agendas or plain just off the cuff,  that  didn't seem to have anything or very little to do with the "ordained" scripture reading of the day.  But they are short.

Online Ruth Martin

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 10:17:55 am »
Betty,

Point taken.  I know that my dad prayerfully prepares for each Sunday, but I also know that there were certain scriptures growing up that were preached on more than others, and certain passages that were never mentioned/preached on at all.  Because of this, I think that following a lectionary is a good practice, even if priests don't always take advantage of it.  I also know that there are some pastors that consciously preach through the Bible, even if they don't use a lectionary. 

Blessings,

Ruth
"To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement."

--St. Augustine of Hippo

Offline Steven Barrett

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Re: sermon vs. homily
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 01:21:56 pm »
 "Fr. Joe" Quigley, SJ. who for many years ran the Newman Center next to UMass/Amherst (and also co-hitched my wife and I and baptized our first three children) knew how to deliver a homily in such a way that all the "power-point" wizards of today could only salivate at.

"Fr. Joe" could talk a starving dog off a meatwagon and sell Klondike bars to Eskimos on Christmas Eve ... and yet he managed to deliver his homilies so that they stuck to the assigned readings for each given Mass, and give the message in his famously (or infamously---depending on how impatient you were or if the A/C in the building broke down) THREE POINT SYSTEM. He’d drive the “purists” nuts by not getting into in to the chief topic until he got in a few comments about the basketball or football teams and also Notre Dame, (always adding this, “all those fine Irish Catholic young men on the front lines…” which always brought out laughs)… though he was a BC -educated Jesuit who answered a late calling right after WWII.

Sometimes you even got in a few laugher-“war stories” about how he “liberated” Bologna, Italy and marveled at the Army making him an artillery spotter though he was “blind as a bat.” On other times he'd rightfully rip into “uncaring” parents of so many lonely kids from the Boston area -- only 90 miles to the east (we're considered to be out in God's French and Indian War boonies out here) -- for not coming out more to see them—at least once during the semester and he was hardest on the parents of freshmen. THEN he'd get into the homily. Guess what though, his Masses were no longer than anybody else's ... and certainly no longer with a full litany and his "3 Pointers" than what one local evangelical pastor's services were like with his full Sermons.

Unlike the longer sermons,  some of them “serialized,” with their “power point” razzle-dazzle screens, (and I’m not exactly sure as to how much of those serial sermons could be said to contain at leaslt 50 “local content,” etc., “Fr. Joe” needed only his voice, the assigned readings and what was really on both his mind and in his heart.

Do you have a “Fr. Joe” in your parish, diocese or serving a local college’s Newman Ctr/club? Tell him to keep it up, show the young priests how to follow in his footsteps and always how to get God’s Truths out during Mass after Mass (and afterwards) from their hearts first, heads second, and may God forbid, computerized programs last. (Better still, NEVER.)

People will remember a short homily delivered from the heart long after any sermon, no matter how well pre-packaged and promoted as “exciting … challenging … full of awesome facts” – especially if that sermon lasts longer than ten minutes MAX.
"It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach."  (FDR '30's.) ... "Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God! ... There are many people who want to work but cannot ... When a society is organised in a way that not everyone is given the chance to work, that society is not just, " Pope Francis, May 1 2013.