Session 10: Homiletics and the Benedictine Reform

Ascension Christian festival, forty days after Easter, falls on a Thursday; celebrates Christ’s ascent into heaven.
Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies Two series of homilies organised according to the Church year and meant to be read in alternate years; forms the core of the Old English homiletic corpus; very popular and extant in many manuscripts (35 for the first series and 29 for the second).
Benediction Occurs often at the end of homilies (and other texts); introduced by Caesarius of Arles; modelled on the Latin doxology used at the end of psalms and hymns in Christian liturgy to glorify the Trinity (Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.).
Biblical apocrypha In the Roman Catholic tradition the term refers to books outside the biblical canon that contain stories about biblical protagonists (e.g. the Infancy Gospel of James contains stories about Jesus’s maternal grandparents, Mary’s birth and Jesus’s childhood). In the Protestant tradition, however, the term apocrypha refers to Old Testament books that were excluded from the Protestant canon. These books are called deuterocanonical in the Catholic tradition (e.g. the Books of Tobit and Judith).
Caesarius of Arles (468/470-27 August 542) Bishop of Arles (in Gaul), collected and reworked sermons of the patristic authors (Christian writers from Late Antiquity) such as Augustine; over 250 of his sermons survive; Old English homilists used some of his sermons as a basis for their own preaching.
Cenobites Those in a monastery serving under a Rule and an abbot
Clerics Members of the religious clergy (priests, deacons, bishops, etc.) who were ordained, but did not take holy orders like monks. Typically the clergy was free to marry and own property.
Hagiography The biography of a saint, often including accounts of miracles associated with that saint and his/her community
Hermits According to the Rule of St Benedict “those no longer fresh in the fervor of monastic life but long tested in a monastery”. Hermits live alone and seek the spiritual challenges of living alone in a (literal or figural) desert because the desert is where Christ was tempted by the devil.
Pericope Section of the Bible read during Mass or the monastic liturgy on a specific day. Some homilies quote the pericope for the day at the beginning.
Religious asceticism Severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence; those who practice asceticism give up worldly goods and are celibate
Whitsun/Pentecost Christian festival, fifty days after Easter, falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter (not counting Easter Days itself); celebrates the descent of the holy spirit upon Christ’s disciples; based on chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles.