So I went to a church yesterday where in the course of a very short sermon, the priest managed to use the words penultimate, declamation, and denouement. To his credit, it was clear that these were his words; he wasn't reading from a manuscript. It sounded like he wasn't saying them to impress; he was using them because they are terrific words that perfectly captured what he was trying to say and are words he naturally uses. They are words that I love myself.
On the other hand--come on! Penultimate? Denouement?! Really? You couldn't use "next to last" or "conclusion"--or even "ending"? As a general rule, I think it's a mistake to use $5 words in most homilies, and then only when it's the absolute best, most perfectest word available. But that's me. What do you think?