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Resources for Homilies

By Fr. Sean McDermott

Paul Gauguin -- Vision after the Sermon (1888)

One of the missions of Earth & Altar is to provide resources for clergy and laity. This post will list some of the most helpful online resources for preparing a homily so that the priest may prepare sermons that please, teach, and move his parish.

1. Fr. Glenn’s article “How I Prepare a Sermon” is an excellent piece on the process of writing a homily.

2. The website Lectionary Central is probably the most helpful one-stop website for homiletic resources--at least if you are using the one-year lectionary. It provides sermons from the Church Fathers, Reformers, Tractarians, and moderns along with commentaries for each week. Along with the resources, it also has the Propers for every Sunday and Feast Day.

3. While we are on the topic of patristics, there is a wonderful site called Catena, that has patristic commentary verse by verse throughout the whole Bible. The site is wonderfully designed, and the app is just as good.

4. There are many sites out there to help with Biblical research. I happen to like Blue Letter Bible because it provides very good resources for the KJV, has all the Greek tools built into the site itself, and offers good search functions. BLB also has an app.

5. Every priest has his own favorite commentaries and series, but there are a few excellent resources that have been put online and might not be in many personal libraries. I have been astounded at the wisdom and clarity of J. Paterson Smyth, an early twentieth-century Anglican clergyman who served in Ireland and Canada. His clear style and sense of wonder make his books not only easy to understand but desirable. All of his books may be found at

6. Project Canterbury offers excellent Anglican resources. While many of the resources are not particularly Biblical, there are many sermons and commentaries on the site. For example, the page on resources for Lent not only provides many aids for sermons but also for adult education.

What have you found to be helpful in preparing your own sermons? Please add a comment or send an email. I would love to learn of other good resources and websites to share.

Fr. Sean McDermott is Curate at All Saints Anglican in Charlottesville, VA and Editor in Chief at Earth & Altar.


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