Model Sermon Collections
In my studies on penitence, I have realized that there is a wealth of material available that did not exist when I was taking graduate courses at Penn State. I had actually considered studying the sermons delivered in critical periods of history such as the before the Reformation and before the American Revolution and determining what role the clergy played in inciting the revolution. Thus I was pleasantly surprised that there are now studies on sermons preached in the period before the American Revolution as well as studies in sermons preached in the period before the Reformation.
A number of printed model sermon collections have been assembled from sermons delivered in the first seventy years of the printing press representing a critical period leading up to the Reformation. Anne T. Thayer has studied the penitential teachings found in these collections popular in the decades before the Reformation and has summarized some regional differences. Thus in Northern Europe, Thayer found that the sermons stressed contrition, satisfaction and divine intervention. Thayer stated that regions trained on such preaching tended to embrace the Reformation in the sixteenth century.