All posts filed under: Practice

Preaching at the Liturgy of the Hours

How might we preach at the Liturgy of the Hours? On the one hand, what is unique about preaching in this context? Is there something about this setting which suggests a particular homiletic approach different from preaching at Sunday Eucharist? On the other, what does preaching at the Hours have in common with other forms of liturgical preaching? For the sake of this essay, I will focus on the two “hinges” of the Liturgy of the Hours (LOH)[1]—Morning and Evening Prayer[2]—and will exclude special considerations such as preaching at the LOH in the context of funeral rites or Eucharistic Adoration.[3] Finally, I use the word “homily” to refer to the form of preaching which “flows from and immediately follows the scriptural readings of the liturgy and which leads to the celebration of the sacraments”[4] or to the non-sacramental rite being celebrated, whether the preacher is ordained or not.[5] As in other forms of preaching, I would argue that the preacher at the LOH is challenged to attend to multiple factors in crafting his or her …

Male Religious: Models of Masculinity?

It may seem absurd to entertain even for a moment the idea that monks, friars, and brothers might be models of healthy masculinity. First of all because our vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience might rule us out us as plausible male figures. Poverty and obedience suggest that we are irresponsible people, fleeing the ordinary burdens of manhood, such as having a job, acquiring a home, taking decisions about our lives. And the vow of chastity, the renunciation of sex, robs us, it would seem, of the virility that one would expect of a male figure. And the gross and shameful history of sexual abuse by so many religious might make such an idea seem distasteful, even repellent. Yet there is a desperate need in the Church for people who offer models of Christian manhood. Our society is suffering from a crisis of masculinity. Because of the breakdown of family life, many children are growing up without fathers. The economic crisis means that many fathers, if they are around, are unemployed, discouraged, and feel robbed …