Lay preaching—preaching rendered by a baptized Christian who has not been ordained a deacon, priest, or bishop—has been a growing issue of concern since the mid-1980s. Along with this concern, a new emphasis on the important role of the laity in spreading the Gospel has emerged. This emphasis has seen lay preaching develop into a common practice in many parts of the country. But if the needs of God's people to hear the Word are to be met, a systematic approach must be taken to this timely and urgent issue. In Lay Preaching Patricia Parachini provides that approach.
Preaching is a broad category (or genus) which includes different types (or species) of preaching including pre-evangelistic preaching, evangelization, catechetical preaching or catechesis, preaching in church, and liturgical preaching. Although Parachini briefly discusses lay preaching in general, her primary focus in Lay Preaching is the most frequently debated type of preaching and the only type from which laity are regularly excluded: liturgical preaching.
In the past ten years there has been a growing interest in the ministry of liturgical preaching among Roman Catholic men and women that are not ordained but minister in the Church. In Lay Preaching Parachini pays attention to that growing interest, while maintaining that people need to hear the Word preached to them well and effectively. She begins by highlighting significant moments in the history of lay preaching and addressing some of the major theological and liturgical concerns that are key to a discussion of preaching. Then, Parachini explains the pertinent canons on preaching from the 1983 revised Code of Canon Law. Finally, she describes current practices throughout the U.S. regarding lay preaching and raises fundamental questions that provide direction for the future.
Chapters are "A Historical Survey," "Mapping the Theological Terrain," "Perspectives of the 1983 Code of Canon Law," and "Present Realities, Future Possibilities."
Patricia A. Parachini, SNJM, DMin, has been involved in the preaching ministry for 18 years as a Professor of Homiletics; a workshop facilitator; and a resource person for liturgical preaching at St. Mary's Seminary and University, the Catholic University of America, Aquinas Summer Preaching Institute, and St. Paul's College.