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Author Topic: No Homily at DL?  (Read 28907 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2009, 06:08:25 AM »

Did the homily always come in the middle of the Liturgy, though?

In Acts 20 we read one of the earliest recorded liturgies;
Quote
[7]On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. [8] There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered. [9] And a young man named Eu'tychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. [10] But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, "Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him." [11] And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.

Here we read that the preaching of the word occurs before the breaking and eating of the bread. The Homily has traditionally always been apart of the Liturgy of the Word so that all could be enlightened.
Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?
Thankfully, we have the words of the Apostles to hear at the Liturgy of the Catechumens. And if a preacher happens to be Equal-to-the Apostles (Isoapostolos), I have no problem with them giving a homily at the Liturgy of the Catechumens.
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« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2009, 04:02:10 PM »

Did the homily always come in the middle of the Liturgy, though?

In Acts 20 we read one of the earliest recorded liturgies;
Quote
[7]On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. [8] There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered. [9] And a young man named Eu'tychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. [10] But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, "Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him." [11] And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.

Here we read that the preaching of the word occurs before the breaking and eating of the bread. The Homily has traditionally always been apart of the Liturgy of the Word so that all could be enlightened.
Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?
Thankfully, we have the words of the Apostles to hear at the Liturgy of the Catechumens. And if a preacher happens to be Equal-to-the Apostles (Isoapostolos), I have no problem with them giving a homily at the Liturgy of the Catechumens.

In my lifetime I have met some priests who, at least IMHO, did as good a job as an Apostle in giving a homily. Also, whatever happened to the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2009, 04:56:33 PM »

Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?

No, but they did have Scripture to read (as Christ Himself did).  However, it would be unwise to believe that the only edifying information available to the faithful is contained in the Bible - methinks you are toeing a line very close to scriptural primacy.

Thankfully, we have the words of the Apostles to hear at the Liturgy of the Catechumens. And if a preacher happens to be Equal-to-the Apostles (Isoapostolos), I have no problem with them giving a homily at the Liturgy of the Catechumens.

One could (successfully) argue that all bishops and priests are successors and equals to the Apostles (now, whether they're equal to Peter or Judas Iscariot is another matter).  I won't forward such an argument as that, but I do believe that there should be a homily (and a good one at that) in every Liturgy.
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« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2009, 04:06:21 AM »

Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?
No, but they did have Scripture to read (as Christ Himself did).  However, it would be unwise to believe that the only edifying information available to the faithful is contained in the Bible - methinks you are toeing a line very close to scriptural primacy.
Not really Scriptural Primacy, but rather Apostolic Primacy (being an Apostolic Church). There is, I think, enough Patristic material in the Church- perhaps homilies of the Fathers could be read (as we do at Pascha and in refectory in monasteries).  I dunno. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the extremely close link between politics and religion in certain parts of the New World has me a little concerned about the possible "use" of the Homily in the Liturgy.

I won't forward such an argument as that, but I do believe that there should be a homily (and a good one at that) in every Liturgy.
I just don't think a Homily is necessary in a Liturgy, not that it should never occur. In other words, I have a problem with a Homily being seen as a requirement for a Liturgy.
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« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2009, 04:19:43 AM »

I don't know, there seem to be a lot of exceptionally knowledgeable layman on this forum, but those of us common folk, who study our religion from non-primary texts, typically learn something from sermons.  I can't say I've ever heard a sermon that misstated anything theologically speaking, to my knowledge.  The laity learn from sermons.  At 56 years old, there's only one priest I've heard who gave a boring, real boring, sermon.  He was young and ended up being disfunctional, and was later unfrocked.  Others vary in terms of how much of the sermon kept my attention, but overall, sermons are most helpful to the overwhelming majority of the common flock, and their effect shouldn't be minimized.  Most of the people do not study the Faith in any way; many do not pay attention to the hymnology.  Sermons are instructional mechanisms that enlighten.
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« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2009, 06:10:27 AM »

I.  Most of the people do not study the Faith in any way; many do not pay attention to the hymnology. 

I don't think this effect can be understated.
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« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2009, 10:05:14 AM »

Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?
No, but they did have Scripture to read (as Christ Himself did).  However, it would be unwise to believe that the only edifying information available to the faithful is contained in the Bible - methinks you are toeing a line very close to scriptural primacy.
Not really Scriptural Primacy, but rather Apostolic Primacy (being an Apostolic Church). There is, I think, enough Patristic material in the Church- perhaps homilies of the Fathers could be read (as we do at Pascha and in refectory in monasteries).  I dunno. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the extremely close link between politics and religion in certain parts of the New World has me a little concerned about the possible "use" of the Homily in the Liturgy.

I don't know if this will comfort you, but I've never heard a political sermon from the pulpit in an Orthodox Church.  Here, or in the "Old World."  Don't take the example of some here on the forum as an indication that most or many badly twist politics into everything.
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« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2009, 02:52:24 PM »

Well, considering that they had neither the Gospels or the Epistles back then, what choice did they have but to have an Apostle speak?
No, but they did have Scripture to read (as Christ Himself did).  However, it would be unwise to believe that the only edifying information available to the faithful is contained in the Bible - methinks you are toeing a line very close to scriptural primacy.
Not really Scriptural Primacy, but rather Apostolic Primacy (being an Apostolic Church). There is, I think, enough Patristic material in the Church- perhaps homilies of the Fathers could be read (as we do at Pascha and in refectory in monasteries).  I dunno. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the extremely close link between politics and religion in certain parts of the New World has me a little concerned about the possible "use" of the Homily in the Liturgy.

I don't know if this will comfort you, but I've never heard a political sermon from the pulpit in an Orthodox Church.  Here, or in the "Old World."  Don't take the example of some here on the forum as an indication that most or many badly twist politics into everything.
In the six parishes I have attended, I can concurr.
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« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2009, 02:57:20 PM »

Indeed.

The closest thing I've heard in hearing any sermon in an Orthodox church that approaches politics was the topic of abortion and that was merely stating that it's a bad thing and that we have to change hearts and help in the healing process those who have aborted their children.  I believe this was done in concert with the Gospel story of the Visitation of the Blessed Mother to Elizabeth.

No mention of voting or anything.  Just "this is yet another group of people who are hurting in so many ways and our door must be open when they want healing."
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« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2009, 03:09:51 PM »

I'm not saying that I haven't heard of stories where clergy spoke nothing but politics from the pulpit; but I don't think the original principle (teaching based on the gospel during the Liturgy) should be thrown out or changed because some people abuse it.
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« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2009, 03:41:19 PM »

Indeed.

The closest thing I've heard in hearing any sermon in an Orthodox church that approaches politics was the topic of abortion and that was merely stating that it's a bad thing and that we have to change hearts and help in the healing process those who have aborted their children.  I believe this was done in concert with the Gospel story of the Visitation of the Blessed Mother to Elizabeth.

No mention of voting or anything.  Just "this is yet another group of people who are hurting in so many ways and our door must be open when they want healing."
Abortion is primarily a moral issue.
If the Priest says "Don't vote for so and so because he is in favor of abortion" then THAT'S political. To preach against abortion (which has been condemned by the Church from the earliest times) is a valid topic for a homily.
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« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2009, 05:17:51 PM »

The sermon is one of the most distinctive rhetorical/generic contributions of the Hellenistic-Jewish and early Christian world. Sermons/homilies are not found in the pre-Hellenistic Jewish literature and developed into a ubiquitous genre in the first century of the Christian movement.

The Scriptural word for a homily is a "word of exhortation", λόγος παρακλήσεως, cf. Acts 13:15; Heb 13:22; cf. Acts 2:40; 1 Mace 10:24; 2 Mace 7:24; 15:11.

According to NT scholars, all cases of λόγος παρακλήσεως exhibit a consistent pattern of argumentation: (1) The offering of exempla, scriptural quotations or other evidence. (2) A conclusion inferred from what has been presented, specifically pointing out how it applies to the audience. (3) An exhortation to apply the conclusion.

This pattern is used in Acts, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Peter, and lots of other sources from the first two centuries.
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« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2009, 05:18:38 PM »

Indeed.

The closest thing I've heard in hearing any sermon in an Orthodox church that approaches politics was the topic of abortion and that was merely stating that it's a bad thing and that we have to change hearts and help in the healing process those who have aborted their children.  I believe this was done in concert with the Gospel story of the Visitation of the Blessed Mother to Elizabeth.

No mention of voting or anything.  Just "this is yet another group of people who are hurting in so many ways and our door must be open when they want healing."
Abortion is primarily a moral issue.

Well, you and I know that, but, in the US, abortion is, unfortunately, viewed far too often as just a political issue.


Quote
If the Priest says "Don't vote for so and so because he is in favor of abortion" then THAT'S political. To preach against abortion (which has been condemned by the Church from the earliest times) is a valid topic for a homily.

Exactly Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2009, 11:02:40 PM »

In my lifetime I have met some priests who, at least IMHO, did as good a job as an Apostle in giving a homily.
I don't think the criterion for determining what is Apostolic teaching should be individual listener's opinions, no matter how humble.

Also, whatever happened to the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Is the presence of charisms also to be determined by individual humble opinion?

Clerical and lay humble opinion is the source of all divisions and schisms in the Church.
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« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2009, 11:13:37 AM »

Out of curiosity, did anyone have a homily at their Nativity service?
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« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2009, 11:23:42 AM »

In our church (RoO) the custom, for both Christmas and Easter is to have the pastoral letter of the bishop of the eparchy read instead of the usual sermon.
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« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2009, 11:31:26 AM »

I'm not familiar with such a letter; do you know where I could find an example of one?
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« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2009, 11:53:53 AM »

Out of curiosity, did anyone have a homily at their Nativity service?

We did not, which took the choir off-guard. Father did say a few words impromptu at the end of the service, though, in a sort of mini-sermon.
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« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2009, 01:18:58 PM »

In our church (RoO) the custom, for both Christmas and Easter is to have the pastoral letter of the bishop of the eparchy read instead of the usual sermon.

We also do such, but it's usually a letter of joint Holy Synod.

I'm not familiar with such a letter; do you know where I could find an example of one?

Check here: http://www.oca.org/news/2037
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« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2009, 03:10:45 PM »

Thanks. I would have liked to have heard such a letter at our Nativity DL.
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« Reply #65 on: December 26, 2009, 03:30:23 PM »

I'm not familiar with such a letter; do you know where I could find an example of one?
http://www.romarch.org/pastorala.php?id=1991

The Pastoral Letter of IPS Nicolae, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas for the Feast of the Nativity AD 2009.
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« Reply #66 on: December 26, 2009, 07:12:55 PM »

In our church (RoO) the custom, for both Christmas and Easter is to have the pastoral letter of the bishop of the eparchy read instead of the usual sermon.

We too always read the pastoral encyclical on Christmas and Pascha (and, often times, on other feast days, e.g. Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Beginning of Ecclesiastical Year, Annunciation, etc.).

At my former parish, in addition to the above, all encyclicals were at least published in the bulletin -- usually read as well.
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« Reply #67 on: December 26, 2009, 07:22:44 PM »

I'm not familiar with such a letter; do you know where I could find an example of one?

A couple more examples:

Patriarchal Encyclical for the Feast of the Nativity 2009
http://goarch.org/news/patriarchalchristmas09encyclical-en


In addition to the typical written encyclical by Archbishop Demetrios, there is also a video version here: http://goarch.org/archbishop/demetrios/messages/2009/nativity2009/nativity-en2
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« Reply #68 on: December 26, 2009, 08:30:38 PM »

Our presiding priest gave a sermon at the Christmas Eve Vesperal Liturgy and at the morning Nativity Divine Liturgy.  But, I mess the archpastoral encyclicals at the major feast day services.  Archbishop Iakovos', of Blessed Memory, pastoral encyclicals for these days, used to be labeled, " Protocol No.___, To be read from the pulpit..."
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« Reply #69 on: December 26, 2009, 08:40:11 PM »

Our presiding priest gave a sermon at the Christmas Eve Vesperal Liturgy and at the morning Nativity Divine Liturgy.  But, I mess the archpastoral encyclicals at the major feast day services.  Archbishop Iakovos', of Blessed Memory, pastoral encyclicals for these days, used to be labeled, " Protocol No.___, To be read from the pulpit..."

The encyclicals are still numbered in that way, and the version on official letterhead with signature that is faxed to all parishes stipulates that it should be read from the pulpit.
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« Reply #70 on: December 26, 2009, 11:52:47 PM »

I would have loved to have heard any of those pastoral letters read. I seem to always come out with an "empty" feeling after liturgy when we don't have some form of homily or letter. Is that bad? It just gives me a break from all the rituals.
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« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2010, 05:55:00 AM »


I've heard the opinion more than a few times that the only Liturgy that shouldn't have a homily from the priest is Pascha, when we read St. John's homily.

It isn't appropriate for priests to read Patristic homilies otherwise?
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« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2010, 05:58:44 PM »

Our presiding priest gave a sermon at the Christmas Eve Vesperal Liturgy and at the morning Nativity Divine Liturgy.  But, I mess the archpastoral encyclicals at the major feast day services.  Archbishop Iakovos', of Blessed Memory, pastoral encyclicals for these days, used to be labeled, " Protocol No.___, To be read from the pulpit..."

That is actually the best thing to do.   For Sundays, the priest does the homily.  For feast days, if there are hierarchical messages, is good to read them.   It also gives parishes a "connection" with the hierarchy that they otherwise don't have.   I read the message from the Metropolitan on Nativity Eve and from the Patriarch on the morn. 
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« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2010, 04:00:35 AM »

Sometimes at Saturday liturgies, we won't have a homily.  I think it's because only a handful of people have shown up, or the weather made the priest arrive late (he lives in another county).  I do enjoy the homilies, because they're based on the Bible reading and Church teachings.  Oftentimes he seems to just be speaking off-the-cuff, but occasionally he'll say something so profound that I have to write it down.  The PCUSA church I attended previously had been doing sermons preaching relevance and following our "dreams."  The Evangelical Free church before that had started prooftexting Bible verses so much, and using various translations, that they fit the pastor's theology, but not the actual text.  (It reminded me of how Purpose-Driven Life mangled Scripture to fit the book's theology.)  And a visit to the church I grew up in, showed me that even the Nazarene church is not immune to "contemporary" sermons with very little actual Bible reading.  So I find my priest's short homilies to be very refreshing, the Bible-based preaching that I have missed from my youth, only with Orthodox theology.  And they're so short that even my hubby probably wouldn't fall asleep, if he were there.  Wink
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