homily hŏm´əlē [key], type of oral religious instruction delivered to a church congregation. In the patristic period through the Middle Ages the focus of the homily was on the explanation and application of texts read or sung during the celebration of the liturgy. Works of literature giving moral advice are also called homilies. Ælfric wrote many homilies.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Literature: General