Part II, Article 3. The Homily
§ 1. The homily, being an eminent form of preaching, qua per anni
liturgici cursum ex textu sacro fidei mysteria et normae vitae
christianae exponuntia, also forms part of the liturgy.
The homily, therefore, during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist,
must be reserved to the sacred minister, Priest or Deacon to the
exclusion of the non-ordained faithful, even if these should have
responsibilities as "pastoral assistants" or catechists in whatever type
of community or group. This exclusion is not based on the preaching
ability of sacred ministers nor their theological preparation, but on
that function which is reserved to them in virtue of having received the
Sacrament of Holy Orders. For the same reason the diocesan Bishop cannot
validly dispense from the canonical norm since this is not merely a
disciplinary law but one which touches upon the closely connected
functions of teaching and sanctifying.
For the same reason, the practice, on some occasions, of entrusting the
preaching of the homily to seminarians or theology students who are not
clerics is not permitted. Indeed, the homily should not be regarded
as a training for some future ministry.
All previous norms which may have admitted the non-ordained faithful to
preaching the homily during the Holy Eucharist are to be considered
abrogated by canon 767, § 1.
§ 2. A form of instruction designed to promote a greater understanding
of the liturgy, including personal testimonies, or the celebration of
eucharistic liturgies on special occasions (e.g. day of the Seminary,
day of the sick etc.) is lawful, of in harmony with liturgical norms,
should such be considered objectively opportune as a means of
explicating the regular homily preached by the celebrant priest.
Nonetheless, these testimonies or explanations may not be such so as to
assume a character which could be confused with the homily.
§ 3. As an expositional aide and providing it does not delegate the duty
of preaching to others, the celebrant minister may make prudent use of
"dialogue" in the homily, in accord with the liturgical norms.
§ 4. Homilies in non-eucharistic liturgies may be preached by the non-
ordained faithful only when expressly permitted by law and when its
prescriptions for doing so are observed.
§ 5. In no instance may the homily be entrusted to priests or deacons
who have lost the clerical state or who have abandoned the sacred