Do you preach from a text or not?
One can preach form a full, prepared text,
a partial text,
or no notes.
If you use a text, I think that it should not feel “read”.
One hint for those who use a full text, practise it aloud. Read the last paragraph aloud. Then read the penultimate paragraph, followed by the last paragraph aloud. Then the last three aloud. Go backwards all the way in this manner until you get to the start. That way you have practised the start of the sermon a bit, and you know the sermon more and more thoroughly as you progress. It takes about 20 minutes to rehearse a 10 minute sermon in this manner.
I have heard it said by someone listening to a sermon, “if you cannot remember what you are saying, how do you expect us to?”
Anglican tradition is more from a printed text, Roman Catholic tradition is more without such. Hence, we have lots of sermons from the time of John Henry Newman being an Anglican, but little from the time he was a Roman Catholic. We see this pattern in the current pope.
What do you do? Ideas, hints, helps for others?
[Update: there’s more discussion on the Liturgy facebook page]
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- John Henry Newman feast day