Will you be telling jokes on the second Sunday of Easter? Joyful Noise Newsletter tells of this tradition and gives some ideas for church services:
[Editor Cal] Samra explained that the Fellowship of Merry Christians originally encouraged churches to revive Easter Monday celebrations (also called “Bright Monday,” “White Monday,” and “Emmaus Day.”)
In The Easter Book (Harcourt Brace, 1954), Rev. Francis Weiser noted that Easter Monday was traditionally a holiday in Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant countries. It was a day of special festivities: games, Emmaus walks in the country, picnics, pranks, practical jokes, and “drenching customs.” On Easter Monday, for instance, boys drenched girls with water, and the girls retaliated by drenching the boys.
Easter Monday is still observed as a holiday in 125 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and the state of North Carolina.
In The Easter Book, Rev. Weiser observed: “In the early days of Christianity, all of Easter Week was one continuous feast… a week of intense happiness and spiritual joy.”
Easter Week celebrations went on for centuries until they faded away in the last century in increasingly secularized societies.
Samra said that a few JN subscriber churches tried to revive Easter Monday celebrations starting in 1988, but Monday is a day of rest for many overburdened pastors and church staff. And it simply became more practical to transplant the celebration to the Sunday after Easter (“Bright Sunday,” which became known as “Holy Humor Sunday.”) The idea then spread after so many congregations responded enthusiastically
What are your ideas?