The idea of setting aside one Sunday each year to celebrate God's gift of laughter and joy has a long and rich history in many congregations around the world. It is known by other names as well, such as: "Holy Humour Sunday", "Bright Sunday", "Holy Fools Sunday", and "Laughter Sunday". The background lies in a tradition of the Orthodox Church. Centuries ago it was originally celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The Priest's would deliberately include amusing stories and jokes in their sermons in an attempt to make the faithful laugh. After the service, people would gather together to play practical jokes on one another and tell funny stories. The purpose was to call attention to the great joke of our faith: the empty tomb, the supreme joke God played on Satan. The essence of jokes is that they suddenly take a turn and lead us in a direction we weren't expecting. God has a way of fulfilling promises in ways that are totally unexpected, and the unexpected is at the heart of humour. In 1988 The Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches to resurrect some of these Christian traditions to celebrate the grace and mercy of God through the gift of laughter.
At our March board meeting I introduced the idea of holding a Holy Hilarity Sunday. I guess you might say they've humored me (pun not entirely intended!) There are definitely those of us who are fed by humour and light hearted laughter and a chance to bring a little holy madness into our lives. Laughter sometimes is the best medicine and we all know that humour is a great anxiety-buster. We celebrated "Holy Hilarity Sunday" and God's love for the unexpected on Sunday May 3rd 2015