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What is a homily?
The goal of a homily is explaining to the congregation what it means to be a Christian in the current situation.
What should be the topic of a homily?
A priest can generally give a homily on anything, but there are a few guidelines that are encouraged.
· The Scripture readings from that Mass
o The priest can focus on one specific reading, or draw themes from all of them
· The feast day (if applicable)
· Something of Sacramental importance
What is needed to write a good homily?
A homily is a speech, which is a lot like an essay. As such it needs:
1) A hook-usually some kind of joke/story/personal anecdote, the more topical the better
2) An introduction-lay out what you’re going to talk about
3) Reflection on the spirit of the topic (usually Scripture-include specific citations)
4) Behavior proscriptions-what does the topic tell us about how we should behave?
5) A conclusion that synthesizes the spirituality with the behavior
Note 1: It is common for priest to do Steps 3-5 repeatedly, addressing every part of his discussion independently and then having a master synthesis at the end.
Note 2: A homilist has to walk a fine line between using language that is too childish and using language that every listener has a chance to understand.
The Assignment
Requirements: MLA Style Approximately 700 words (2 pages), double spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman/11 pt Calibri, identify the day of the homily on the Title line,
Structure: Follow the above prescription
Crafting a Homily:
1) Use the USSCCB’s list of daily readings (www.usccb.org/bible/readings). Pick a day from the month October.
2) Use the chart on the back to identify significant elements and their moral implications
a. You may also use the Feast Day being celebrated on that day
3) Write the homily in an accessible but not too colloquial style (you may use first person, but not sentences like believe that)


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