March 8, 2008

Untie Him, and Let Him Go

The great sign of the raising of Lazarus concludes Jesus' public ministry in the Gospel of John, and reveals Jesus himself as God's victory over death. My homily for this weekend is posted here.


Anonymous said...

This is probably a silly question, but do you give the very same homily for every Mass you offer from Saturday night to Sunday (evening)? Does it ever strike you that you'd like to depart some from what you said previously? Is there liturgical license to do that? After his homily, a priest at one church I attended used to ask whether anyone had any questions. I thought it was a nice idea, but a little risky.

Charles of New Haven said...

Not a silly question at all, Anonymous. I think preachers differ here, but I'll tell you some random things from my experience. I have faculties to celebrate Mass three times on Sundays and their vigils, but twice has been more the norm for me thus far.

Sometimes I give the same homily, sometimes a different one. Sometimes I give what's basically the same homily, but delivered a little differently depending on the make up of the assembly.

My experience with preaching has been that homilies come out better the second time I give them, but by the third time they're stale.

Sometimes I have to fight things I think of at the last minute. It's a challenge for me to leave aside the "brilliant idea" I think of in the sacristy...thoughts need to be tested over a day or two.

Several times when I've had two Masses in a row I've given a totally different homily to keep myself excited about what I'm trying to say.

Since I only preach from notes or manuscript when the homily is complex or needs to be very short, they all end of being somewhat individualized. We were trained that way where I went to school. We weren't allowed notes or manuscript or even an ambo or lectern. Nothing. Just out in the open with a video camera on us!

I write my homilies so as to think thoroughly about structure and length, and for the chance to post them here.