Suggestion: Homily Helpers Guide

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Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 2 2016 9:45 PM

Given that I am no Bernard of Clairvaux, I do not write Sermons, I write Homilies.

The starting point is not an individual text of scripture, but the connection/collection of several scriptural texts for a given day within a particular season of the Church Year.

The guide should give first place to the Lectionary, allowing one to choose the date/feast, as on the home page.

It should next show the Missal texts for the day.

A search of all homily aids indexed to the Lectionary would be one of the sections in teh guide.

The real complexity would be triggering searches of Commentaries, Sermons, the Catechism, Church Documents, Church Fathers, Media, Themes, Illustrations based on any of the three or four scriptural texts allocated to the day/feast.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 2 2016 10:18 PM

Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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john joyce | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 12:13 AM

Yes

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 7:03 AM

Yes

Damian McGrath:

The real complexity would be triggering searches of [...] the Catechism

For the Catechism numbers that correspond to each Sunday liturgy, this information could be used: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20140629_direttorio-omiletico_en.html#CYCLE_A

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Mark Nolette | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 8:35 AM

I use a Lectionary Layout (courtesy of the Practicum video training for Verbum 5 with Andrew Jones and Louis St. Hilaire) which does some, but not all, of these things. The Homiletic Directory could be a great part of this proposed guide. The challenge is that most resources are geared to individual readings and not to the connections between them. You could easily end up with a "quadruple passage guide" with all three readings and the psalm, each generating its own list of commentaries, Catechism references, Church Fathers, and so on. That could be overwhelming! Such a guide as this would need to be designed with care.  

I've just started watching the Verbum 360 videos, so I don't yet know if they offer anything that could help here.  

I wonder if it would be possible to design such a guide or layout on our own.  

The way I approach this now is to look at the readings for a given Sunday, do just a little study for each, and take that to prayer. Then, a word, an image, a theme, or something else in at least one of the readings may emerge as the focus. Then, I can use the power of Verbum to concentrate on that word or theme or image or whatever. Out of all the possible angles that any group of Sunday readings may present, I hope that the Holy Spirit can help me find something that will speak to the needs of the people who are there that Sunday. I could never know that on my own. 

Hope this helps.  

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 12:31 PM

May I suggest some "simple" places to start - not ideal by a long shot but a start that should be able to slide "quickly" into the current structures with reuse of current code: (Note I will upload a translation table of the various ways of naming Sundays this weekend.)

  1. Three new library types: "Lectionary commentary", "Lectionary sermons", "Liturgical resources"
  2. One section of the HHG would be Lectionary commentary i.e. the library type searched by liturgical date. This would not differentiate denominations.
  3. One section of the HHG would be Lectionary sermons i.e. the library type searched by date. This would not differentiate denominations.
  4. One section of the HHG would be Liturgical resources i.e. the library type search by date ... this would be intended to pick up propers, collects, litanies etc. that would be available for the date ... yes, this is a section that would be very sparse at the moment. Here the sort should include the denominational element of the date.
  5. Divide the liturgy section into two portions:
    1. One portion based on the liturgical date
    2. One portion based on readings as now but reflecting any or all of the readings for the date (see below for sequence)
  6. An Interesting Words section where the source texts are
    1. the lectionary texts
    2. the propers, prayers etc
    3. the liturgical sermons
  7. Default church documents and catechism for other denominational base packages
  8. A number of the standard sections could be built for any or all of the readings then sorted by intersection e.g. all readings, 1st & 2nd, 1st & 3rd, 1st only, 2nd & 3rd ...
  9. A new concept for a section which would be a bit of work ... the user selects either the Text this Week or a supported denominational site and that site is scraped and brought into the HHG much as wikipedia in brought in.

Yes, I know that this isn't perfect but if one managed to get the start ... the lectionary/date/service selection as a starting point and set expectations at a section every or everyother release it ought to be doable. Doable in contrast to full support of hymns, collects etc which would require significant new tagging.

How to get it? Bob has shown over and over that he does come around under user pressure. And he has put out requests for pastors for focus groups. Get several of you lectionary using pastors together representing as broad a variety of denominations as you can manage and approach Bob asking to be a special purpose pastors' focus group ... and let him know your needs. And push for slow and steady improvement not a one major task and you're done ... you want Faithlife to get in the habit of continually thinking of the needs of the liturgical churches.

P.S. I have been working to get some standard reading plans into Logos for:

  • The Book of Concord
  • The Heidelberg Catechism
  • The Catholic Catechism
  • John Climacus (Orthodox Lent)

If you know of similar reading plans that should be included, let me know.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 1:36 PM

MJ. Smith:

P.S. I have been working to get some standard reading plans into Logos for:

  • The Book of Concord
  • The Heidelberg Catechism
  • The Catholic Catechism
  • John Climacus (Orthodox Lent)

If you know of similar reading plans that should be included, let me know.

YOUCAT in a year

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 3:49 PM

Fr Devin Roza:
For the Catechism numbers that correspond to each Sunday liturgy, this information could be used: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20140629_direttorio-omiletico_en.html#CYCLE_A

I had forgotten about that index. I was so underwhelmed by the document that I placed it in the "do not remember" part of my mind.

But, that is an excellent suggestion.

My point was really that there should be a way to trigger a search for the appropriate sections of the current sermon starter from one of the readings rather than having the guide auto-populate with sections for every reading. This would be a built-in form of the right-click context menu search for the bible reference.

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 3:57 PM

Mark Nolette:
I use a Lectionary Layout ...

I do have my own workflow and have been using the software since 1999.

Mark Nolette:
You could easily end up with a "quadruple passage guide"

This is most definitely not what I want. I would like a way to trigger a modified sermon starter or passage guide based on one of the readings.

Mark Nolette:
I wonder if it would be possible to design such a guide or layout on our own.

Lack of correct indexes in some resources makes this difficult. Though, I am plugging away at seeing what I can do.

My biggest issue is that Verbum offers a Sermon Starter Guide that is based on a particular model of sermon that is not appropriate to a lectionary based church. It assumes that we give sermons based on a single passage.

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Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 4:02 PM

MJ. Smith:
May I suggest some "simple" places to start

Martha, not sure how simple all of this is....

MJ. Smith:

  • An Interesting Words section where the source texts are
  1. the lectionary texts
  2. the propers, prayers etc
  3. the liturgical sermons

I really like this idea.

MJ. Smith:
Default church documents and catechism for other denominational base packages

I'm not sure how this would work. I can understand a section searching for particular scripture citations in church documents. But, I would not want a section to search for all four scripture passages at once. I'm not sure that there exists a similar guide to appropriate catechism links as there is in the Homiletic Directory for Catholics.

MJ. Smith:
A new concept for a section which would be a bit of work ... the user selects either the Text this Week or a supported denominational site and that site is scraped and brought into the HHG much as wikipedia in brought in.

I'm not fond of the software replicating a simple search in a browser. 

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 4:04 PM

MJ. Smith:
Note I will upload a translation table of the various ways of naming Sundays this weekend.

I wonder if liturgical resources could be mapped like bibles so that if I search for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C it would automatically map to Proper 18 Year C.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 5:03 PM

Most of the time yes ... the major sticking point is between the traditional (Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican) and the RCL/Catholic for the period between Pentecost and Advent. In the old system, these Sunday names were pegged off Pentecost and hence had variable dates. Now they are pegged off Advent and hence have "fixed" dates ...

Here's the partial chart using just Sundays to illustrate the full mapping

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 3 2016 5:09 PM

Damian McGrath:

MJ. Smith:
Default church documents and catechism for other denominational base packages

I'm not sure how this would work. I can understand a section searching for particular scripture citations in church documents. But, I would not want a section to search for all four scripture passages at once. I'm not sure that there exists a similar guide to appropriate catechism links as there is in the Homiletic Directory for Catholics.

MJ. Smith:
A new concept for a section which would be a bit of work ... the user selects either the Text this Week or a supported denominational site and that site is scraped and brought into the HHG much as wikipedia in brought in.

I'm not fond of the software replicating a simple search in a browser. 

I will defer to the pastors of multiple traditions - just want some possibilities out there to make sure there is a discussion.

Your concept could be achieved by simply adding a passage selection option base on the passages in the lectionary to the section bar options. The major "problem" is that the lectionary has discontinuous passages which Logos does not support so some form of treating the passage as continuous would be needed. There's one Genesis passage on Sarah where this would have bizarre results but ... However, IIRC the Lutheran narrative lectionary might have more serious problems.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 353
Virgil Buttram | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 4 2016 10:30 AM

MJ. Smith:

P.S. I have been working to get some standard reading plans into Logos for:

  • The Book of Concord
  • The Heidelberg Catechism
  • The Catholic Catechism
  • John Climacus (Orthodox Lent)

If you know of similar reading plans that should be included, let me know.

[tangent] I have a Custom Reading Plan for the Book of Concord, implementing the reading plan at www.bookofconcord.org. Unfortunately, I built it for a specific edition of the BoC (https://www.logos.com/product/18541/concordia-the-lutheran-confessions) rather than generically for any edition. If it would be of use and/or interest, I would recreate it generically.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 4 2016 12:37 PM

Thanks - that is the source that was used for courses and it is generic. Glad to know that it will be of use.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Louis St. Hilaire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 3:52 PM

Damian McGrath:

Given that I am no Bernard of Clairvaux, I do not write Sermons, I write Homilies.

The starting point is not an individual text of scripture, but the connection/collection of several scriptural texts for a given day within a particular season of the Church Year.

The guide should give first place to the Lectionary, allowing one to choose the date/feast, as on the home page.

It should next show the Missal texts for the day.

A search of all homily aids indexed to the Lectionary would be one of the sections in teh guide.

The real complexity would be triggering searches of Commentaries, Sermons, the Catechism, Church Documents, Church Fathers, Media, Themes, Illustrations based on any of the three or four scriptural texts allocated to the day/feast.

Something along these lines is indeed what we're aiming for.

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 7 2016 4:48 PM

Louis St. Hilaire:
Something along these lines is indeed what we're aiming for.

That's great news.

I can't but help think that if the starter package came with one of the homily help resources, as well as a basic commentary (as it does), and the lectionary guide triggered these resources from the home page, what a great seller this would be to Catholic clergy. A good example would be the Word of Life: Daily Scripture Companion which covers the whole year.

There should be an easy way to search for these homily help resources in the Verbum/Logos stores and in our libraries.

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