Eastern Christian Liturgy in a Western Homily

St. John Paul II famously proclaimed that “The Church must breathe with two lungs”—speaking of the Western Church and the Eastern Church. Such breathing is meant to permeate all of the Church’s life and not just, say, the lives of … [Read more...]

“Shrouded” in Mystery

Holy Saturday is often the forgotten, and most neglected, day of Holy Week because it gets lost among the great liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. Holy Thursday celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with the … [Read more...]

Applying Some Thoughts on Preaching

Following my article, “Some Thoughts on Preaching” (March 13, 2015), I received an invitation from the editor to prepare homily notes for September 2015. This essay is not a "homily notes" example, but an example of assembling one’s … [Read more...]

Ten Commandments for Transformative Preaching

When people walk into church for Mass, they are searching for meaning. Psychologist William Damen, in his book, The Path to Purpose, tells us we are living through a crisis of meaning. Our superficial culture of consumption and … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2015

Rebuilding Your Message: Practical Tools to Strengthen Your Preaching and Teaching. Michael White and Tom Corcoran. (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, Rebuilt Parish Book, 2015) 224 pages; $15.00. (Reviewed by Jon M. Ericson) Family and … [Read more...]

Preaching the Homily and the New Evangelization

Preaching in all its forms is indispensable to the Church’s mission given to her by Jesus Christ: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching … [Read more...]

The Homiletic Directory

In response to a request made by the 2008 Synod of Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently published the Homiletic Directory. The Directory was commissioned to assist homilists in their … [Read more...]

Words Written on Ice and Wind

At the turn of the century, I graduated from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  Armed with an MFA in creative writing, I set out to write the Great American Novel. I taught writing at the University of Central Florida in … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Preaching

Articles on preaching typically emphasize advance preparation. The most crucial advance preparation occurs in seminary, or even pre-seminary, in the systematic reading of Scripture. Long years and discipline in Lectio Divina are the … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for February 2015

Masters of Preaching: More Poignant and Powerful Homilists in Church History, Vol. 2. Ray E. Atwood (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books/University of America Press, 2014) xiv + 469 pages. (Reviewed by Fr. David Vincent Meconi, … [Read more...]

Rediscovering Preaching within the Liturgy of the Hours

For most Catholics in the United States, the terms “homily,” “sermon,” and “preaching” nearly exclusively evoke the occasion of a priest or deacon preaching as part of Mass.[1. The use of the specific terms, “homily,” “sermon,” and … [Read more...]

Preaching, Music, and Acoustics

The work of the New Evangelization is identical to the work of evangelization in every age: to communicate to those who are unaware of the saving work of the Son of God those things that will bring them to accept the gift of faith, and come … [Read more...]

Saved from a Deacon’s Nightmare

A Nightmare Not long ago, I experienced a deacon’s nightmare. I was serving the 7:30 AM Mass on Sunday morning, and just as the lector stood up to do the first reading, the presider turned to me and said, “You are preaching this morning, … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? “New Evangelization:” What does it mean, and what are its primary focuses?   Question: What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? Answer: Priests know that the … [Read more...]