The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) enjoined annual communion/Eucharist and annual confession to precede it.  This had several far-reaching effects on Western Christian culture, since the correct information about both sacraments had to be passed down through the bishops to the parish priests and ideally to the people themselves.


    I. Rise of penitentials and confession manuals for priests, with lists of questions to facilitate the examination or self-examination of the soul


    II. Rise of and new emphasis on preaching for instruction. (sermons would teach the Twelve Articles of the Faith, Seven Works of Mercy, Ten Commandments, 7 Deadly Sins, Pater Noster, etc.)


A. The process was supplemented by Artes Praedicandi and exempla collections (the former more influential for academic sermons, the latter for the ad populum sermon), indexed to aid the preacher in finding Scriptural quotations, similitudes based on the natural world, or illustrative stories to supplement the sermon


                 (1)"Whether it is the truth of history or fiction doesn't matter", cries Bromyard, "because the example is not supplied for its own

                              sake, but for its signification"


B. Who preached? Parish priests, but the best-known and the best preachers were the friars, especially Franciscans (founded officially 1227, though approved by 1210) and the Dominicans (f.1217), a.k.a. the Ordo Praedicandi/Order of Preachers


C. What are the parts of a sermon? In general, a gospel paraphrase, the exegesis or explanation of that passage's significance, and one or more illustrative exempla (also called narracio)


                            (1) exegesis often allegorical, and this is the source of some criticism of mendicant preaching in particular, that the gloss runs

                                       away with the literal sense


      (2) sub-themes are sometimes subdivided—consider how the Pardoner condemns the “sins of the tavern” and then goes into detail on three of them (gluttony, drunkenness, gambling)


      (3) Exempla can be graphic and gruesome, as in the case of Herod's sickness, or miraculous (Trajan saving Gregory), or exotic (Alexander's prayer)