The homily is always on the gospel of the day.” Considering the current universal trends and developments in worship, this statement is being tested for validity in the light of the Church of England’s Sunday Lectionary and Calendar of Common Worship. A lectionary is simply a list of Bible passages assigned to be read in designated days of the year. Although the Church of England does not prescribe which Bible translation to be used, the Common Worship Lectionary, which has a two-strand approach, is being adopted: one strand for special days and seasons and another strand for ordinary time (Horton et al, 2001). The church calendar being observed by the Anglican church is the same calendar being used by the traditional Christian churches. The calendar begins with the season of Advent in preparation for Christmas, followed by Christmas itself, then the Epiphany, then Lent with its conclusion at Pentecost (Common Worship, 2000).
The Common Worship was the result of the incorporation of the improvements in the Alternative Service Book of the Church of England and was done to achieve overall uniformity in worship down to the local congregation (Horton et al, 2001). Latest improvements pertained specifically to providing flexibility in the substance and form of worship at the local service level. The question that invites contemplation and deep analysis is: In the light of this flexibility, how does it affect the homily? Must the homily always be on the gospel of the day, following the guidance of the Lectionary and the Calendar?
The homily is delivered by the presiding priest or pastor right after the proclamation of the assigned Scripture reading, usually a gospel passage, during a worship ceremony as in the sacrifice of the mass. Being characteristically subjective in form and substance, the homily can have the tendency to veer away from its original intention, depending on the frame of mind and emotional state of the preacher. In a number of instances, the