HUPC to Celebrate “Bright Sunday” April 23
For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including "Bright Sunday" (the Sunday after Easter), was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
Churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh," the early theologians called it. (From the Holy Humor Newsletter)
On April 23 the HUPC worship committee is sponsoring our first “Bright Sunday” celebration. In other churches it is called “Holy Humor Sunday.” The premise behind “Bright Sunday” is that in rising from the dead Jesus has overcome the meanest “baddest” power of them all—death. The devil survives because he continues to persuade us that the resurrection is an illusion and that death is still the final word on life. We are too practice in believing this lie.
Laughter is the best argument against the rigid and humorless grip of the fear of death. When we laugh we throw off the heavy coat of despair and dance in the freedom of life. If worship can be a kind of party, then Jesus is the life of the party. So, come to worship with laughter born of the “Easter Laugh.” Come and discover that humor is a form of reverence. Laughter is an act of deep faith. We will go back to being serious on the next Sunday. (Just kidding!)
PS. No one will get water dumped on their head.