13 comments on “A Long Winded Sermon

  1. When I was in seminary we were told of a lecture by John Chrysostom that went on for 3 hours – on one word! As we were told, imagine what he could have done with the entire verse. But, things were different then, people did not work on Sundays, and frequently would spend the entire day in church. It was not uncommon for them to share two meals while there. I remember my grandparents saying how church services started with the priest walking around the town on Sunday calling everyone to worship, and how they would join the procession to the church; services started at 10, ended at noon, and everyone gathered in the hall for the rest of the day.

    I have been at churches where people leave after the homily, some stay as long as communion, but walk out immediately afterwards. Then there are summers, where sometimes you can count the people in church without having to remove your shoes. My, how times have changed. I remember one priest who called out during communion to those leaving, “what if Christ left after the trial with Pilate and said the rest just isn’t worth it?”

    • Yeah, I remember the old days too…

      My personal record for long sermons is 53 minutes, and the only one who complained was the regular preacher in that location. Maybe I got away with it because I’m irregular…

      As for lectures… well that’s quite another thing; I’ve never exceeded 4 hours in a lecture 🙂

  2. I researched this not long ago. I learned that being on a third floor meant the church apparently met in an insulae, and apartment building. Most people could not afford houses then, so most lived in such buildings. The story says there were many lamps where they were meeting. So, apparently everyone brought their own torch to walk the streets with at night. That would make a pretty hot and crowded apartment. It must have been stifling in there. I think I would have sat in their only window myself. As for getting sleepy, that’s what happens when it is late and hot and stuffy. No one ever condemned the young man. Just some thoughts. Good morning.

  3. That’s true……Most people can spend hours in cinemas, watching movies, even the ones they have watched before, but cannot spend an hour in church. They will complain when the message of the preacher is long as if it is as long as the hours spent on movies.

  4. I would think those who attended all-day sermons were certainly thirsty for the Good News Paul had to offer. And I always thought it was an interesting aside about the young man who fell out the window and was raised from the dead. Perhaps Paul was telling about Lazarus at the time?!? 🙂

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