Last Sunday I used the word jeremiad in my sermon. The first time I encountered the word was in the book “Peculiar Treasurers: A Biblical Who’s Who” by Frederick Buechner. Here’s his explanation, which can be found under the entry for Jeremiah:
“The word jeremiad means a doleful and thunderous denunciation, and its derivation is no mystery. There was nothing in need of denunciation that Jeremiah didn’t denounce. He denounced the king and the clergy. He denounced recreational sex and extramarital jamborees. He denounced the rich for exploiting the poor, and he denounced the poor for deserving no better. He denounced the way every new god that came sniffing around had them all after him like so many [dogs] in heat; and right at the very gates of the Temple he told them that if they thought God was impressed by all the mumbo-jumbo that went on in there, they ought to have their heads examined.” — Frederick Buechner.