The Armchair Liturgist: Silence Bracketing The Homily

I was thinking back to one priest friend who liked to launch into the Creed immediately on the heels of his homily. He would walk slowly and reverently back to the chair during.

Many of us liturgists are accustomed to silence bracketing the readings and psalm, but what about the homily? The homily isn’t really sacred Scripture. So does it deserve that same framing as the Bible narratives get? Or is it more about the assembly, and their need or wish to absorb the content of the preaching? Sit in the chair and render your judgment: silence or not, and if so, how much?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Silence Bracketing The Homily

  1. Liaam says:

    Silence? What’s that? One thing I miss in my current digs, as it were, where there are certain folks who are not comfortable with it (and not for reasons of economy of time, mind you, not at ALL….).

    Yes to silence. Timewise for comparison: A full Angelus takes about 50+ seconds in private recitation; a minute in private recitation is ~4 Our Fathers ~6 Hail Marys, ~12 short doxologies (Glory Be).

  2. Devin says:

    Ideally, I would prefer silence after the Gospel and before the homily. But unless the presider gives the homily from the chair, it is kind of an awkward situation.

  3. I leave the ambo at the end of my homily and return to the chair and am seated – probably for about 45 seconds, not quite a minute. I don’t think of this so much as reflection time as i do a pause to let the homily end before moving on to the Creed.

  4. Mary says:

    If you ever visit Ireland, you’ll find that virtually all priests start the creed the minute their sermon is over – occasionally after “signing off” with the sign of the cross. Purely for economy of time.

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