Date of this Version
Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 5, Number 1, February 1983. ISSN 0196-7134
The word "sermon" derives from the Latin sermo, indicating a talk or discourse. That definition endures, with the historical narrowing of the term to the proselytizing public addresses of representatives of religious faiths. Metaphorically, of course, the term is applied to any exhortation of a more or less formal nature that resembles such homiletical efforts. The important point is that the sermon is an event in time that inevitably terminates when the oral discourse ends. As Richard Weaver has observed, "every speech which is designed to move is directed to a special audience in its unique situation"; I ultimately, this reality militates against all attempts at preservation or reproduction, perhaps even in the age of recordings and television.