Earlier this year, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments forwarded to the world's Episcopal Conferences the text of the Homiletic Directory, a new resource for all ministers of the Word, including priests, deacons and homilists. The document was produced "as the result of the request made by participants in the Synod of Bishops held in 2008 on the Word of God." In response to this request, Pope Benedict XVI directed the competent authorities of the Holy See to prepare a Directory to assist in preparing homilies. More recently, Pope Francis has made preaching one of the priorities in renewing the Church, as is evident in his first Apostolic Exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel" (Evangelii gaudium).
Published in Canada by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), printed copies of the Homiletic Directory can be ordered on the CCCB Publications website. It can also be freely downloaded online for non-commercial use by parishes, dioceses and religious communities, provided the correct copyright acknowledgements are included.
The Directory presents the purpose of the homily as described in the documents of the Church from the Second Vatican Council to the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium. It offers guidance based on these resources to help preachers carry out their mission effectively. The first part describes the nature, function, and specific context of the homily. The second part addresses the essential questions of method and content that the homilist should know and take into account when preparing and delivering the homily. Two appendices follow the main text. The first gives references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church based on various doctrinal themes in the readings for each of the Sundays. The second appendix provides references to various Magisterial teachings on the homily.