LONG SERMONS ARE HARD FOR BOTH LISTENER AND PREACHER

I do not agree with Good Friday sermons that last two and a half hours. You went on for a good hour too long. Make no mistake, whatever flatterers may say, long discourses like that are hard for both listener and preacher.
Three quarters of an hour for an ordinary sermon, one hour and a half for a Good Friday sermon: that is the norm, do not trespass outside it.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 15 April 1831, EO VIII n 389

Obviously listeners in church had more endurance in those days!

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One Response to LONG SERMONS ARE HARD FOR BOTH LISTENER AND PREACHER

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I was dismayed reading this and then broke out into a giggle as I read Frank’s comment. Thank you God for bringing me into this world when you did!

    As I began to ask myself ‘who were they preaching for and to’ I wondered if it was not perhaps themselves. But then a small light appears as I stop and think of when I have ‘ranted’, gone over and over something – be it positively or negatively (and usually it is the negative one that can lead me to ‘pontificate’). As I sit here I realise how sometimes it seems more important for me to try to make sure the other ‘hears’ me, to ensure that the other really hears me and that I be able to ‘convert that other to my way of thinking. Control shows it’s face.

    I doubt that this is what Eugene was talking about – these liturgies may have been the only ‘schooling’ that the poor were going to get – at Mass, on the big feast days, during missions. Still…

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