Religion of Love

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[1278] Religion is ideally experienced and passed on through texts. In the service the sermon serves for this. The word of L is relatively densely written. One cannot expect that it is straight away understandable for everybody. Therefore, the sermon should work up the word of L. For this purpose, the internet offers an almost inexhaustible source of information, which can let emerge the stated lively and vividly for everybody.

[1279] It is always important to establish the right plane of reference. The word of L is in a historical context and is to connect properly with the present. The shortness of the original text can easily be enriched with examples. For this purpose, stories from everyday life or history are particularly suitable that can be well related to the stated. One should exercise care and effort on the selection.

[1280] The anniversary of a historic event is especially well suitable as a starting point for a speech or sermon, if the issue is not otherwise predefined. The own opinion on the issue should stay behind the best possible statement if it is not congruent with this. If one is unsure with the judgement of an issue and help is not possible, one should indicate presumptions as such.

[1281] Since the issue is mostly centrally given, but life of the addressed people individually, it should be formulated in a way that everybody has as many connecting factors as possible. If the target audience has a connecting feature, one can seek the connecting factor there. The language used should orient itself by the target audience. It makes no sense, for example, to confront children with abstract theories that they cannot understand.

[1282] If one accentuates the text with media, so it is important to make sure that these have beneficial effects and do not hinder the conveyance. Who, for example, only looks at the (interesting) pictures, but regards the text no longer, misses the essence and the nitty-gritty. Since L is the highest authority, every text should be worthy before L. One should therefore recite it to L and clarify in prayer whether it stands the test of L and thus is suitable for others.

[1283] Who is not versed enough recites the prepared first to another person before ze goes public with it. The larger the audience is, the more cautious and conscientious one should proceed. It is in the major media hardly possible to rectify something again, what is once in the world. Who wants to be tainted with a something what sticks to zer a lifetime? The religion of love does have just high standards.

[1284] Homiletics is something that one should study. Therefore, here are only general clues given. Intensive preparation and careful attention to the effect of a text are for a good sermon indispensable. If someone is a still so talented and thrilling orator, ze, however, may not at all become short of substance. The best sermons should be collected and made publicly available.

[1285] The audience should be addressed on many levels, in order to bring about that a sermon remains in memory. For this purpose, the environment is also accordingly to adjust. Inhomogeneous groups represent a particular challenge. It is art to offer something to everybody. Ultimately, it is the inner greatness of a person that decides. This makes clear that religion should be a holistic process.

[1286] Who is not completely merged in something is observed to be distantly. Who does not want to convince will also not be able to. One should thus exactly determine the goals of zis sermon previously. These constitute then with the means the scaffolding on which one can work off. Variety prevents boredom. Preaching requires creativity. On must not be a true genius or highly gifted theologian, but one should love zis audience.

[1287] Each sermon should be divided into parts with a particular function. So it is important to awaken interest at all and to make clear why the said is or could be relevant to everyone. Every preacher must be able to distinguish between important and unimportant. Climaxes staminate the whole. Who lets a sermon degenerate to a mere routine does not do justice to L and zis audience.

[1288] Every sermon should also proceed psychologically. It has not everything to be said explicitly if the intended be well inferred. To say something too perspicuously is rather rebarbative. One should phrase understandably, but not choose a too low level. For those who could not be present, the sermon text should be published afterwards on the internet - possibly as text and as a recording.

[1289] If the issues repeat as time goes on, this does still not apply to any sermon. Each creature develops in a way that makes it possible to it to see things differently with time - and that means usually better since more mature. The claims should increase as time goes on if one is in a healthy (spiritual) development. Nobody should hide behind zis development or even lag behind.

[1290] Although it may be that the personal goals have nothing to do with preaching but everybody should ask zerself what goal in preaching ze wants to achieve with time. Who preaches right will always discover a goal that ze has not yet achieved. One must not regard preaching as chore, but as the fruit of the exchange with L. Every listener can recognise by a sermon whether the preacher has a good relationship with L.

[1291] The sermon is a flagship of every priest. Although other factors are more important that make a priest well, but ze will be compared with zis sermon each time, because it is the link between L and creature, solidified prayer. A bad sermon is hard to excuse on the basis of the importance it has. Who serves L has time for it and who has a good relationship with L has also no difficulties with it.

[1292] One should remember that the listeners are to draw on the sermon for a while. It should have an invigorating and building effect that strengthens and deepens the relationship with L. It is to point up perspectives for the own relationship with L and to further the (spiritual) development. It is to make the experienced consistent with L where it is not too specific, since this should be subject of a one-on-one interview or a therapy.

[1293] It is an art to say much with few words without losing oneself in the general or in a lingo. Preaching is the balancing act between demand and feasibility. Nobody demands of a beginner what ze expects of a professional. There are times in which one falls short of the claims. One should therefore choose no level that one cannot hold, but foresee that there will be thwarting.

[1294] Nobody takes it amiss, if one uses somebody else in an emergency, but emergencies are anything but a permanent condition. If somebody has a serious disability that does not permit zer the normal preaching (for example, a persistent language disorder), so ze may well use an aide or modern technology. Nobody should be excluded from the profession of a priest who has a removable disability.

[1295] The claims to a sermon by the listeners should also be appropriate. Although a preacher may give suggestions and hints, if they are well intentioned and do not hurt, but every creature has its limits and a shadow that it cannot jump over. It has qualities that are only there because of its uniqueness, and we do well to recognise and to appreciate them, since L can expect this.

[1296] The sermon should last between a half for usual and maximally an entire lept for exceptional services. If the time is not sufficient, one should include additional content into the internet version and defer to it. To this belongs the list of sources and deepening literature. The bishops should make sure that there prevails no battle for the best sermon in the sense of a show.

[1297] Although outstanding sermons should be awarded a prize, but the means used should be proportionate. The worthiness before L should not be circumvented. There may be a healthy competition, but the sermon should not become central to the life of a priest. No ordinary sermon should be prepared longer than one day. An (electronic) sermon diary should support and facilitate the preparation.

© 2007-2009 by Boris Haase

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