This sermon structure incorporates an image at the close of the sermon as both a rhetorical and a mnemonic device. Rhetorically, the use of an image at the close changes the register of the sermon to create a climactic conclusion. In the past, preachers have done this by moving from prose to poetry, closing the sermon with a verse from a hymn. Now, an image can create the same effect, drawing hearers into one final experience that captures the focus or function of the sermon. This image may also function mnemonically, calling to mind main ideas already experienced in the sermon. To do this, the preacher integrates into the sermon phrases that foreshadow the later image. By doing this, the preacher creates an echo of previous ideas as the sermon closes and, for the hearers, the image functions mnemonically, recalling earlier themes.
© 2011 David Schmitt. All rights reserved.