Lay Preaching

Lay Preaching

State of the Question
Patricia A. Parachini, SNJM
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Liturgical Press Suggests

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.

Sr. Pat Parachini's small volume, rich in research, describes and gives a persuasive rationale for this important unleashing of the Spirit. She is clear, to the point, and fully conversant with this movement’s theological, canonical, and pastoral implications. For those who wish to go deeper in their thinking about, and rationale for, lay preaching, there is no better or more thorough resource. Present this small volume as a gift to your Parish Worship Team and Pastoral Staff.
Michael McGarry, CSP, Pastor, Newman Hall, University of California, Berkeley

This survey yields a clear grasp of our history, present tensions, and future possibilities. Based upon the vision of the Vatican Council and present practices, the author raises a number of very good questions worth investigating. The answers to those questions may provide a foundation for understanding what liturgical preaching is and who should be doing it.
Rev. Robert S. Rivers, CSP, Director of Diocesan and Parish Services, Washington, DC

The question of lay preaching in the church today is complex, multi-faceted, and is a question that is not going to go away soon. In this brief and easy-to-read work, Parachini grounds the issue historically, theologically, canonically, liturgically, and existentially. . . . All concerned about the Ministry of the Word today will find this book a valuable resource.
Joan Delaplane, OP, Aquinas Institute of Theology

. . . excellent and wide ranging survey. . . It makes a distinct contribution to the growing understanding and theology of lay ministry in the contemporary Church.
Liturgy

Lay Preaching presents a cogent and compelling development of lay preaching throughout the historical and Scriptural traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Patricia Parachini believes that preaching flows from our baptismal call to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. This concept as well as her development of the place of lay preaching in both liturgical and non-liturgical settings will be of interest to both lay and ordained ministers in our Church today.
Marti Jewell, Chair, National Association for Lay Ministry, Director of the Office of Ministry and Spirituality for the Archdiocese of Louisville

Product number: 2549
ISBN: 978-0-8146-2549-1
Pages: 72
Trim Size: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 03/01/1999