THE PARSON’S SERMON
The Parson advises that it is God’s desire that all men should travel to the
celestial city and not perish in the fires of hell.
There are many ways in which to travel to paradise. One way is through
penitence, lamenting for sin and sinning no more.
He then details some of the sins man should avoid, such as envy, sloth,
gluttony, and lechery, all of which have appeared in the tales told by the Pilgrims.
He urges that those present should confess their sins freely and obtain
satisfaction and God’s grace by the giving of alms to the poor, doing penance for sins committed, and fasting.
It is clear that Chaucer is trying to make amends for the way in which he
has represented the church through some of the Pilgrims present.
It is also clear that the tales told by the Pilgrims concerning the
church indicate that in Medieval times there was much corruption evident within the Ecclesiastical system.
The final tale, from the Parson, provides a high moral tone, and shows that
at least some members of the church do actually carry out God’s work and are not in it for their own purposes.
The Sermon was actually the work of two 13th Century Dominican Friars, and is not Chaucer’s own work.