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Catholic Homilies

How to write Catholic Homilies

Before we write homilies, we have to understand their structure. A homily always consists of three parts - an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion.

Introduction is a way to grasp parishioners’ attentions and to tell them what your homily will be about. You don’t have to give them a title but some sort of main thought or question. Something to stir their mind from the very beginning.

The main part of the sermon is the main preaching part of your homily. Main part is your actual homily. In the main part of your homily you lead them to a conclusion by explaining thoughts and ideas, giving them pros and cons, dos and don’ts and few good life examples of the above.

A conclusion is your punch line, main message and a call to action. In this part your may recapitulate your main thoughts and tell people what to do.

Steps to writing good catholic homilies.

1. Find a topic for your homily - What is the main point of your sermon? Here you

Have to decide whether it is going to be a need-based (financial struggles, immorality, sickness, family crisis …), event-based (lent, advent, Christmas, Easter …) or theological principle (Catechism, mass readings, teaching of the Church, your recent bible reflections, book you read) based homily. Good source of the subject are homilies of other people. Analyze your subject and decide what God wants to tell to your parish and what your parishioners should do. Topic is being found through prayer and meditation, reading spiritual texts and already written homilies.

2. Write the Sermon – Use three part structure, the theme of the sermon and make a right conclusion. Make sure that the main points of your homily make sense and that the lay and simple people will understand. Do not be too theological. Write your first draft as quickly as possible then develop it further.

3. Edit and Polish your homily. If you have written your homily in a fast pace it is a time to verify and check it. Make sure it has a point and even you would like to hear it. If you don’t like some parts – change them!

4. Practice your homily.  Go over your homily out loud. Reading the sermon out loud will give you some new thoughts; if they are good you can implement them to your sermon. You will also measure the real time of your sermon; adjust it by adding more examples or removing less important elements.

5. Tell your homily with confidence, strength and faith. You have done a good job. You have sought God and He told you what to tell to your parishioners – be bold. Pray for people before and after the mass to accept your message.

Well, how long it may take to write a sermon? Difficult to say but sometimes it may take entire day to just find a proper subject.

Please check our homilies for Catholic Priests to find a help in writing catholic homilies.