A new directive from the Vatican on the preaching of the homily in Mass, presented by Archbishop Arthur Roche.
Pope Francis wrote extensively on the homily as a constant source of renewal and growth in his Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Let us renew our confidence in preaching, based on the conviction that it is God who seeks to reach out to others through the preacher, and that he displays his power through human words” (EG 136).
This Directory from the Congregation for Divine Worship offers practical suggestions and answers the questions that were born from the Synod on the Word of God about the place of the homily in liturgy and as a means of bringing the people of God closer to scripture and the teaching of the Church. The document outlines helpful strategies on:
- What a homily should and should not be and what kind of attention it deserves.
- Guidance on scriptural interpretation especially in relation to the other readings and prayers of the Mass.
- Preparing a Homily and how we articulate it.
- Central points for homilies for each Sunday of the year and for all major feasts and seasons.
- Improving doctrinal content and a helpful table relating paragraphs of the Catechism to Sunday and holy day readings.
- References to post-conciliar sources relevant to preaching.
“The aim of this Directory is to present the purpose of the homily as this has been described in the documents of the Church from the Second Vatican Council to the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, and to offer guidance based on these resources to help preachers carry out their mission properly and effectively.” (HD 2)
Pope Francis said in Evangelii Gaudium that “the homily cannot be a form of entertainment like those presented by the media, yet it does need to give life and meaning to the celebration. It is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration” (n. 138). Archbishop Roche hopes that this document will be a useful instrument in the training and ongoing formation of those who are called to preach in the Sacred Liturgy.
Copies will be available from the CTS at £4.95 on 19th February and can be pre-ordered now by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7640 0042 or order online at: www.ctsbooks.org/homiletic-directory.