Friday, July 9, 2010

Pertinent on Preaching

Lovely post on preaching, helpful on homilies, by Bosco Peters. Read here. One slight demur on my part is "eight minutes" for a sermon ... I think "ten minutes" would be fine for a shorter sermon! His main source is a fine RC publication. Here is a para with Bosco's own tips:

"Two hints: in my sermons I normally try to include something to think about, something that touches the heart, something to do.

If you use a full text, I once read the helpful suggestion that in rehearsing it you read the last paragraph, then the last two paragraphs, then the last three, until you reach the start of your sermon – that way as you get further into actually preaching it you reach increasingly well-rehearsed material."


liturgy said...

Thanks for pointing to that post, Peter. & yes, to clarify - the 8 minute idea was someone else's, not mine & as you see in my post, I disagree with some of the other points he makes :-)
I've been known to preach at least three times that length - depending on the community and context.
The post, like here, was to get people thinking. A discussion starter.
I'm sure you would also agree that some sermons of greater length tend to ramble, and we all need to work at ways by which we keep the community's attention. [And have something worthwhile to say!]



Peter Carrell said...

You must let me know when you plan to preach a long sermon ... I will see if I can come to hear it!

Naturally my highly sensitised Ramble Filter will be switched on ...

liturgy said...

What springs to mind is preaching through the main stops in Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday - quite long sermons (between 20-30 minuts), but probably still at the hour of preparation for a minute of proclamation rule. Then, with the community settling in to that kind of pattern, a quite different style for the Easter Vigil - very short (3-5 minutes?) with a strong contrast and Easter rejoicing. Certainly this took weeks of preparation, not the 6 days suggested by the author in my original post you link to.