Sunday, November 30, 2014


Due to a late start today I ended up attending church at a parish other than my usual one. A very significant portion of the homily was on a particular text: "Seasons of Love", from the musical Rent. He sang it, and explained the song as he went. Now, he did eventually have a point that had to do with the First Sunday in Advent, by talking briefly about the liturgical calendar, but I confess my view is that, excellent though the song is, the homily of the Holy Mass is perhaps not the most appropriate time to burst into singing one's favorite show tune. It is certainly true that not every priest can be an Augustine or a Chrysostom, and I am willing to make very generous accommodation for that, but I look somewhat askance at outsourcing the substantive content of one's homily to Broadway.

At least it was Broadway. I remember an Easter Vigil homily one year -- Easter Vigil being for all practical purposes the most important liturgical event of the year -- in which a chunk of time, mercifully small, but very prominently placed, was spent discussing the movie Bruce Almighty. I suppose these sorts of things arise from a misplaced urge to be relevant to something or other, or to make a point simply and memorably, when in reality this approach does very little to bring the topic home or to make the topic itself memorable. The key to relevance and memorableness alike is kairos, which is to say, the right time. It's not the effort that falls flat; there are just better things to do in context.

In any case, having to endure people singing songs from musicals while in Church is a small enough admission charge, and perhaps a suitable occasion to exercise my sense of humor and avoid taking myself or anyone else over-seriously. As this is a benefit that deserves to be shared, I present you the primary text of the homily I heard for the First Sunday of Advent:

How did your Advent start out?


  1. Itinérante7:40 AM

    I was hoping for an Advent post (or something, like Lent (?) I think, there were daily quotes, I quite love this blog (if I was not too obvious to guess hehe)!)...
    I find the song thing a little strange. I am from the Church of the Liturgy of Chrysostom... and we stick a little bit to "traditions".

    Our Advent started 15 November... but this Sunday was St.Andrew's feast day and we had a good homily about "The Lamb of God" and how we see Him many times but we do not respond immediately! When St.Andrew heard St.John the Baptist say this is the lamb of God, he directly went and followed. We heard as well about being the first in things for God and not to be slothful (because St. Andrew was the first disciple...)

    ps. I work for an organisation that has a chapter called "Kairos" so I am particularly happy to find a reference here ^^

  2. branemrys8:31 AM

    It's a bit harder to do a regular series for Advent than Lent; the first half of Advent is literally my busiest time of year, and the last half I'm sometimes traveling.

    The homily would have been very out of place at my usual parish, as well; but one of the strengths and weaknesses of Roman Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) is that it is very flexible, so you never know what you'll get at a different parish.


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