Recording your Sermons or Homilies for posterity or for the housebound

I had a colleague who was most against the recording of homilies/sermons what is the difference between them? I understand homilies to be preached by those in holy orders and sermons can be preached by lay or ordained. Whether accurate or not, I suspect homilies are shorter as well… 🙂 but I thought there was some merit in it.

  • I don’t write my homilies out, but preach from the heart – it makes it more dynamic and lively and immediate. I don’t do academic theology, so the Gospel has to be heartfelt. This means that what I plan to say and what I actually say may vary; and thankfully it varies for the better.
  • It is good to rehear what you have preached in order to improve on your delivery style and tone. The best homily delivered in a dull monotone is useless. Always develop. Always learn.
  • I have been desperate for ideas sometimes and just hearing another preacher on the subject has given me new insights or learning. This is my small drop in that big ocean and I pray that someone elsewhere might be inpsired (or revolted – for any response positive or negative is sometimes helpful).
  • I have heard of people in Church returning to rehear what has been preached to reflect on it. This is a good thing surely.
  • I have also heard of others, many of whom are housebound, many local and many more from further afield, draw comfort or inspiration from my preaching. That is outreach.
  • It also provides for people a clear indicator of the style of your Church, and potential visitors might be enticed to hear and then come and hear it live!

$_12I record my homilies on my phone using a microphone extender (without the headphones plugged in, see left) which you can order from EBay for just a few quid, so it works just like a tie-clip microphone. This is the kind of adaptor used to plug in your high-performance headphones and still use the phone. You could also use your phone’s headset and just not put the earbuds in so again,it works like a tie-clip, but the disadvantage of that is that you have the earbugs dangling down inside your alb.

By 2017 there are proper tie-clip mics on eBay see this search:


To record the audio, most smartphones have a “Voice Memo” app and this can be used to record a fairly rudimentary  quality recording. I have tried several free apps (for my Android phone) and my current preferred App is ASR ( Others are available (for both Android and iOS) just play with the free ones until you find one that is right for you. I like the simple “big button” interface associated with ASR.

[caption id=”attachment_5226″ align=”alignright” width=”168″2014-10-04 11.14.29 ASR: Simple Interface. Great integration with Dropbox.[/caption

You can record in quite high quality, which is a good place to start even though you will need to drop the quality before you upload. ASR integrates with the cloud so you can configure it to automatically upload to  Dropbox or Google Drive. I have unlimited data, so it uploads as soon as I finish, but you can set it to upload only over WiFi and save data charges, so that by the time I have got back to the Vicarage, the audio files are ready and waiting to be edited into completed files.

I usually record the whole service  and just cut out the bits which I don’t need. Because  I have access to them, I use Sony Vegas which is a big boy’s toy for both video and audio editing, but the best solution is to use the free Audacity program available for PC, Mac or Linux . I usually only trim the small gap between “In the name of the Father…” and the actual start, just because it contains a bit of clattering but otherwise, it is as I preached – mistakes and all (but hopefully, little heresy!) as this isn’t a showreel, but an actual sermon.

2017 Update

I usually add a little graphic in Vegas and save it as an MP4 Video

and then upload it to YouTube or more commonly Vimeo

You can then simply add it to your website, or tweet it, or link to it in Facebook. This makes it a lasting record and a useful teaching aid.


I save or export the trimmed down homily as a new file in a less high-resolution format: usually 96k MP3 which is a little better than FM radio quality but short of CD quality – this has to be quick to download or stream and it is an in-situ recording after all,and not a studio production.

So, you can then add it directly to a webpage and have people download it to listen, or better you can upload it to a streaming service. You could use the popular Soundcloud but that is more for music and you can quickly use up your space with a few 10 minute homilies, so I recommend Chirbit  which is free, unlimited in space and you can either post a link to their page:

Chirbit roboroughteamministry home - Record, Upload and Share Audio Easily - Social Audio


or embed it within your own web:

Sermons Roborough Team Ministry




See here for the archive of my homilies.