Forgotten Truths
donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

Don’t Weary the People with Long Sermons

Fr. James McGinnes was a 19th century professor at the Royal Scots College Seminary in Valladolid. He compiled a work on preaching titled Ministry of the Word in which he gives instructions on sacred eloquence. The following excerpt emphasizes the importance of brevity and clarity in sermons.


Fr. James McGinnes


Don't weary the people by long sermons. Their power of attention flags after a certain time. Knowing what you are going to say, begin soon to say it. Some preachers, by their long-winded introductions, have the patience of their hearers wearied out before they reach their subject. Having said what you had to say, in a few forcible practical sentences urge it as a whole upon the attention of your hearers.

Fr. James McGinnes, Ministry of the Word, p. 81,
Apud The American Ecclesiastical Review, vol. 66,
Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press, 1922, p. 268
Posted August 20, 2016