Preaching in a Liturgical Context

Review article

Preaching in a Liturgical Context

Enoh Šeba ; University Center for Protestant Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus – University of Zagreb

Full text: english PDF pg. 45-67


Preaching or service of the Word represents a significant part of every liturgy or worship which is why this liturgical context is worth closer examination. In this paper, this issue is addressed through an overview of other contexts that, together with liturgy, shape the dynamics of preaching: historical, pastoral, and theological contexts. What follows is an analysis of four models of worship structure that differ in the way preaching relates to other elements of worship – Word and table as complementary (Roman Catholic perspective), Word and table as complementary (Protestant perspective), Word as the center of worship, and Word as a catalyst. The account of each model presents the key arguments used to support this particular understanding of preaching, the crucial features of the proclamation of the Word, its most significant hallmarks, as well as its main advantages and disadvantages. Toward the end of the paper, the author suggests an additional model, partly endorsed by the findings of his empirical research. According to this model, preaching can be perceived as a space of freedom, surprise, deliverance, and change within the wider liturgical environment as a space of security, stability, order, and identity affirmation. In conclusion, it is suggested that our understanding of preaching is enriched every time we manage to lift our eyes above the limitations of our church traditions and personal experiences, and that study of the liturgical context serves as a good choice for the beginning of such research.


preaching, sermon, homily, liturgy, worship

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