Saturday, July 29, 2006

Homily v. Sermon

Another off line submission:

Dear Wanda,

I have this problem. I can't ask other people. I am afraid of what they would think. You know what I mean? So I have to give this homily--a sermon--every so often. Preparation is very laborious. First, I live in the south and elongating my vowels is very trying. And sometimes I forget and sound normal--I mean northern. And then the shoe I use to pound the pulpit has to be polished and I mean "polished" every single time.

Wanda what would you do???

Homily Hannah
[edited for clarity]

Dear Homily Hannah,

The way I see it you are asking about several issues:

First, I think it is really important to decide. Is it a homily or a sermon? The word homily comes from a root word meaning conversation. Sermon, on the other hand, comes from a root word meaning speech. Are you having a conversation or giving a speech? If it is a homily it's just a conversation and it isn't really necessary to do that much preparation. I would much rather have a conversation than give a speech any day.

Second, perhaps eating more pre-homily hominy will help with the vowel problem. I don't think it is possible to eat hominy and sound northern. Add some grits for breakfast and you shouldn't ever have problems with your vowels (and maybe your bowels) again.

Third, regarding the shoe issue, I would have a pair handy. That way, you could polish the pair after every other sermon. On the other hand, unless you are Khrushchev, you don't really need to pound your shoe on the pulpit during a conversation--I mean, homily.

So, What Would Wanda Do?
  1. I would opt for conversation (homily),
  2. eat lots of hominy (and grits), and
  3. pass on the Khrushcevian punctuation (although I must admit, I don't mind polishing shoes--I can do a spit shine that looks almost like patent leather).

Hope this helps.


Hannah said...


you are too funny. And wise. And totally, completely, irrevocably and eternally awesome. Hope that other Hannah appreciates you as much as I do.


The Real Hannah
NOT the Homily one

Wanda said...

Thanks, honey. Want to be president of my fan club? I need one...a fan club and a president.

Hey--we gotta start somewhere...right?

And make no are the real Hannah!