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Homilies Too Long? Get Comfy Church Pews for Sale for Parishioners

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homilies-should-be-under-eight-minutes-longMost masses last for more or less an hour, with a large chunk of it devoted to the homily, which typically lasts for around 20 minutes. For Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, homilies must only be at least eight minutes long. As the Catholic News Service reported:

Homilies should be no longer than eight minutes—a listener’s average attention span, said the head of the synod office.

Priests and deacons should also avoid reading straight from a text and instead work from notes so that they can have eye contact with the people in the pews, said Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.

Even liturgy professor and Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara agrees that it makes little sense for homilies to last beyond 20 minutes. The problem is that Church doctrine has little to say about the length of homilies.

The Church stresses brevity when explaining the Scripture, but cultural differences may make brevity ill-advised at times. Fr. McNamara says some people may expect long discourses, while others don’t like a long, dragging sermon.

If brevity cannot be achieved, parish officials are encouraged to at least make sure mass attendees don’t spend most of their time sitting on hard, uncomfortable pews. Settling in for a long discourse while seated on quality church pews for sale can make the length of sermons the least of their worries.

The traditional pew only has solid wood for seating, but modern pews are fully upholstered with foam seats and back supports for increased comfort. A typical foam-equipped pew from reputable church furniture suppliers such as Covenant Church Furniture has around three inches of foam for the seating and one inch for the backrest. When properly contoured to the human body, pews can maximize comfort and make long sessions less of a drag.

A consensus on the length of a typical homily is less likely to happen anytime soon. It falls onto the priest celebrating the Mass to explain the Scripture with the right amount of substance and in a reasonable amount of time. Should a church insist on long homilies, they must provide comfortable seating to the attendees.

(Excerpt from Homilies should be under eight minutes long, says head of synod office,, March 20, 2010)

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