Too many sermons can be harmful

This column can be too preachy. Sometimes it bothers me and sometimes I just get on with it.

That’s what happens when you’ve been subjected to a lifetime of sermons. People of my generation were reared on them. Twice a day on Sundays multiplied by many years equals an awful lot of sermons.

Was it the same for Catholics? How was it for you, so to speak?

For Protestants they usually followed their traditional route. The minister would take a text from the bible and make three points about it. Often enough the points were contrived and expostulated in strangely archaic language but needs must, as they say. At least you always knew when the end was nigh. The last few sentences were clearly signposted with a phrase like, “In conclusion…” The congregation’s sigh of relief was almost audible.

Traditional morning service was followed by a traditional Sunday lunch at home.

In my male dominated home, the conversation revolved around politics and rowing. That’s “rowing” as in the sport involving boats and Steve Redgrave as distinct from other sorts of rowing, of which there was little.

When my devout maiden aunt joined us for lunch, just to be as annoying a wee so-and-so as possible, I’d launch into an attempted deconstruction of the minister’s sermon. “You’re a shockingly critical child,” Auntie Dorothy would say.

Ah well, at least I try to avoid inflicting the rowing on you. You’d never read Hamill’s Beat then, even if you didn’t lose the will to live entirely. By the way, this piece was meant to be another sermon, so consider yourself fortunate – at least you’ve also been spared that.