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Question 23.
Dear father Christopher Klitou,

I have a question about the praxis in the orthodox church. Is the Talk -Omilía a part of the Divine Liturgy, or it is not regular component of it?



Answer to Question 23.

Dear Ivan,

There are two kinds of talks usually offered by Orthodox Priests or Theologians, the first is the sermon which takes place during the Liturgy. This should be said immediately after the reading of the Gospel lesson for the day, but in practice most parishes give the sermon later during the preparation for Holy Communion. There are two reasons why the sermon is moved to almost the end of the Liturgy: one - it saves time if the sermon is given by a lay theologian, and two - because many people (especially with young children) come late to the service and don't manage to hear the Gospel reading: by postponing the sermon to the later time it reaches more people. The sermon is usually on the meaning of the Gospel or Apostle readings of the day or the meaning of the feast at hand, but as it is said just before Holy Communion it will usually end with some reference to the Holy Mysteries. Not all priests have permission to give a sermon. They would need to have a theological degree or at least to have enough education and spiritual knowledge which would justify the Bishop giving his blessing to that priest to give sermons. In parishes where the priest does not give a sermon, lay theologians regularly visit for this purpose. Sadly, in villages, visits from theologians are not so regular. In general sermons should not be more than ten minutes and definitely not more than fifteen. The second type of talk is more like a catechisms for adults and is usually offered as a weekly evening talk. The subject can be on any spiritual matter that the priests determines would be spiritually enlightening and educational for his listeners. Talks usually last for an hour including the time that should be allowed for possible questions and answers.

With love in Christ
Fr. Christopher