Your Sunday Sermon Notes – Holy Name (N.O. fake Epiphany) – 2020

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at the Mass for your Sunday (obligation or none), either live or on the internet? Let us know what it was. Too many people today are without good, strong preaching, to the detriment of all. Share the good stuff.

Also, are your churches opening up? What was attendance like?

For my part,…

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  1. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    The Solemnity should still be on 06.i. Thanks for emphasizing this.

  2. Ellen says:

    Go to Youtube and look up “Time to be counter-cultural” by Father David Wilton. That was the homily I heard and it was a good one.

  3. Went with my Prot husband to my Washington, DC parish’s 8 a.m. N/O Mass for Epiphany–and what a sad, sorry spectacle.

    It was a dark, chilly, and rainy morning, so most of the usual Mass-goers seemed to be taking advantage of the diocesan coronavirus dispensation to stay home–giving the church the forlorn flavor of a Protestant church, where hardly anyone attends Sunday services. The cantor tried to lead the congregation in Christmas carols with Epiphany themes but got nowhere because no one likes to sing with a mask on, Catholics hate congregational singing to begin with, and there were so few people in the (quite large) church building that the cantor’s pleasant soprano was the only voice that could be heard. Next, as a prelude to each of her readings, the lector, who I think was new on the job, fumbled with her mask–hanging it from one ear, tucking it under her chin, taking it off completely–and also adjusted her hat several times before finally getting down to the Scriptures. (Lady, take the mask off before you get to the pulpit, and no one cares about how your hat looks on you.)

    Next, the priest, famous for his sermons that ramble on forever and ever as things strike his mind at random like asteroids, made a few good points–that we should try to be Christmas stars pointing to Christ in the darkness of the pandemic–then launched into his real theme, the people who apparently plan some sort of “violent” demonstration “this week.” I take it he was talking about pro-Trump protestors expected to gather on the Mall as Congress counts the electoral votes on Jan. 6. He went on and on about these dreadful people, throwing in an anecdote about a friend of his who had had an internet argument with him over this hatred that culminated with the friend’s telling him that he wasn’t his friend anymore. “Can you believe that someone would stop being someone’s friend over a disagreement like that?” the priest asked. Now, I’m sorry that the friendship got broken off–but are a priest’s personal relationships really an appropriate topic for a sermon?

    Finally, blessedly, the sermon ended, and the Mass moved on to the Prayers of the Faithful, announced by the priest, who was by this time standing on the other side of the sanctuary after leading the Creed. The newbie lector, who apparently hadn’t realized she was the one who was supposed to read the Prayers, rushed up from her pew to the pulpit and messed with her mask some more. Then she read from the top of the sheet: “Prayers of the Faithful, Epiphany Sunday.” “We already said that!” the priest snapped at her. Poor lady–but she somehow stumbled through the Prayers and got back to her pew. Then came the cantor’s turn to be interfered with by the priest. As she launched into “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” the priest, who had already started the Offertory, rushed up to her from behind the altar to give her a hand signal that she was supposed to sing three more verses–while she smiled lamely at the congregation. After that, things went fairly smoothly, with more half-hearted singing, until the miserably small congregation finally shuffled out of the church and into the wet January gloom. Some Epiphany–isn’t it supposed to be a joyous “Little Christmas”?

    My problem with the Novus Ordo isn’t so much the rite itself but the fact that most of its participants seem to have no awareness that they are supposed to be conveying a sense of the holy. There’s no awareness that the Mass isn’t improv in the sanctuary but the performance of a sacred ritual, the most sacred ritual that the Church knows. As a performance, it should be carefully prepared for, even rehearsed if necessary (the priest should have told the cantor in advance what she was supposed to sing, for example). And as a solemn performance, it should never be interrupted, and the performers should never step out of character, whether to reprimand for a mistake or to giggle over one’s own misstep. This is why so many people–my husband included–cannot take Catholicism seriously–because Catholics don’t seem to take themselves seriously in their own rituals. Today’s performance at my parish church was pathetic.

    At any rate, I plan to make it up by going to a Latin Mass on Real Epiphany–Jan. 6–where everything will be done right.

    [If those were the GOOD sermon notes….]

  4. elaine sharpling says:

    Canon Jones preached about ‘the word’ and its link to the Eucharistic chapter in John. Church was full – we can only have 18 but we have a steadfast congregation for the 4pm EF Mass.

    No EF for the Epiphany but I think it is ok to use the chalk from last year? Hope so!

  5. Cecelia1 says:

    Life is pretty much normal in Phoenix. The TLM was full (in accordance with scheduling by the parish) and joyful. As the priest, altar boys, etc were processing out at the end, the schola began singing ” Jesus My Lord, My God, My All. Those of us in the pews are not supposed to sing (and we generally don’t) but a few soft voices from around the church started to sing along. The men’s voices from the choir loft and the few soft voices from below combined to make the most lovely, sweet sound I have heard in a long time. It could not have been planned, it just happened, and it could have made a stone cry. We are so blessed…

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  7. Littlemore says:

    Today we went 80 miles away to the Institute of Christ the King Supreme Priest, the sermon was on the name of Jesus. Also, Father said that there would be the traditional blessing of water on the eve of Epiphany & that it is 45 minutes in duration, why does it last for this length of time?

  8. L. says:

    Our Diocese has permitted public Masses since May. Anyone who believes he would be at risk by attending is dispensed. Attendance in my parish seems only a little reduced from the pre-pandemic situation. Attendance at the Noon Mass on January 1 was as packed as social distancing rules would permit. Regarding Sunday Mass, my wife remarked to me on the way home that Father had made a very good point in his homily. I missed it.

  9. Fulco One Eye says:

    At our Tridentine Rite diocesan mass, our priest spoke of the special nature of our Lord’s name and that when we do not accord it it’s due reverence we are insulting the very person of our Lord, which can be worse than simply disobeying his laws.

  10. grateful says:

    Jesus My Lord, My God, My All.

  11. jhogan says:

    Father made several good points; the two that “stuck” with me were that the name of Jesus causes the most consternation and upset to devils and demons. That is, they cannot stand His Name. The other point was Our Lord’s Name was chosen by God Himself and first spoken by the Archangel Gabriel.

    Fortunately, my parish has been able to hold public-attended Masses since Spring. Our pastor increased the number of Masses said on Sundays with online sign-ups since we are limited to 100 people for attendance. Not enough to accommodate everyone in the parish, but better than being closed down.

  12. mo7 says:

    Father commented, in part about the former strength of the Holy Name Society, suggesting a resurgence.
    It made me think that so many of us tlm’ers are so individual in our thinking [ survival mode & a corner we’ve been backed into] is it possible to get a group of lay men to do anything at all in concert? We really need to unite, overlooking differences of opinion. A resurgence of the HNS would be great.

  13. ajf1984 says:

    Well-attended EF Mass on Sunday afternoon, church was as full as it can possibly be while obeying the Archdiocesan requirements not to exceed 50% (I think?) capacity. Father preached on the importance of reverencing the Holy Name of Jesus in our daily lives, and suggested some practical points for us to practice or continue to practice as a kind of New Year’s resolution: reviving the bow of the head at His Name, praying “May His Holy Name be praised” if we hear it spoken irreverently/in vain/etc. Also highlighted the importance of Jesus’ name being the only one through whom we have salvation. The schola was on point (as usual), and while some of the altar servers were new-ish, they did a wonderful job serving at the altar.

    This parish is blessed to have faithful and reverent priests and is in its 35th year of perpetual Eucharistic adoration. Coincidence? I think not!

  14. pcg says:

    To echo some of the other comments, Fr spoke of the name of Jesus as being powerful, especially against the devil. He also commented on how, sadly, the practice of bowing one’s head at the name of Jesus is all but disappearing. This made me think back several years to being in Oxford (UK) for
    Christmas, where my son was studying. We attended evensong at Christ Church and at the name of
    Jesus, he and I would bow our heads. I got the feeling folks were watching us by the end of the service, thinking perhaps that we had narcolepsy- Ha!

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