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Pope Francis addresses pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for his general audience yesterday (CNA/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has once again appealed to priests to keep their homilies short, this time warning that homilies should be no longer than eight minutes or “people will fall asleep”. Source: CNA.

Speaking in St Peter’s Square for his Wednesday catechesis yesterday, the Pope explained that the goal of a homily is to “help move the Word of God from the book to life”.

“But the homily for this must be short: an image, a thought, a feeling. The homily should not go beyond eight minutes because after that time you lose attention and people fall asleep,” he said.

It is not the first time that Francis has stressed the importance of short homilies. In 2018, he urged priests to “be brief” and ensure that their homilies are “no more than 10 minutes”. 

The Pope’s words echo the recommendations made by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic in his 2010 book on the 2008 Synod on the Word of God, which advised prelates to keep their homilies to eight minutes or shorter and to avoid “improvisations” from the pulpit.

Pope Francis often exceeds this time limit in his own homilies. On Holy Thursday this year, the Pope’s homily for the chrism Mass was more than 20 minutes long. 

The Pope made the comments on homily length off the cuff during a reflection on how the Bible is “inspired by God and authoritative”.

He urged Catholics to take time every day to read and reflect on a passage from Scripture, recommending that Christians carry “a pocket Gospel” with them to read during spare moments throughout the day. 


Pope Francis: Keep your homilies short or ‘people will fall asleep’ (By Courtney Mares, CNA)