That's the title of an article that was recently published by the Catholic News Service. Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops has written that the Sunday sermon or homily should not be longer then eight minutes which is about the average listener's attention span, he says. The bishop also urges preachers to spend the appropriate amount of time to "craft a well-prepared and relevant sermon for Mass." Among the general guidelines, he also suggests that a preacher would do well to find inspiration not just from the Bible, but from the newspaper and areas discussing current concerns facing the world or the local community. He says that a homily can offer ideas for what people can do after Mass in the way of prayer, readings and activities at home, work or in society to help carry out Gospel teachings.
Having once again endured last sunday, another one of those rambling and meaningless sermon's, I totally agree. The preacher should be prepared. Their homily should be relevant and it should be concise. You know when a preacher has prepared the sermon. You listen when the message incorporates Scripture in discussing what is current and relevant to those of us struggling through our daily lives. You are benefited when the message contains some realistic suggestions for our daily life activities. What we too often get are platitudes, cliches and rambling discourses that cause your mind to quickly wonder. Why shouldn't the congregation expect to be inspired by the message? What is the calling of a preacher if it isn't to preach in a way that motivates us to live a better life? I think the congregation has the right to expect the minister to prepare their homily's with effort and thoughtfulness rather then just launch into delivery of words without impact or significance to those who are there for inspiration.
At least if the preacher follows the eight minute rule, even if they do a bad job, the pain doesn't last long.