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Council of Trent: Sermons Must Be Brief

In the annals of the Sacred Council of Trent are found instructions for Catholic preachers: Sermons must be salutary, clear and brief.

The Council of Trent is one of the most definitive councils in the History of the Church. In this passage it imposes instructions that are binding upon all those who preach in the name of Christ.


Sacred Council of Trent


Archpriests, priests and those who in any manner whatsoever hold any parochial or other cure of souls in the churches shall, at least on Sundays and solemn feastdays, feed the people committed to them, either personally or, if they are lawfully hindered, by someone competent, with salutary words according to their own capacity and that of the people.

They must teach the people everything necessary that they need to know for their salvation by announcing to them – with briefness and clarity of discourse – the vices they must avoid and the virtues they must practice, so that they may escape everlasting punishment and obtain the glory of Heaven.

Council of Trent
Session V, Second Decree, § 2
Below, part highlighted in green


Latin text of the Council of Trent


Posted October 8, 2016