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New Celebrations is published by CyberMin Resources  Editor and Proprietor, Clyde Griffith

© CyberMin Resources 2016

Alternative Resources for Discovering and Celebrating Emmanuel Throughout the Year!

Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity, "Holy Humor Sunday" a celebration of Jesus' resurrection on the Sunday after Easter.

For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including the Sunday after Easter, was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.  Church goers 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 who wrote 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 Joyful Noiseletter” of the Fellowship of Merry Christians


“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.  Never forget the devil fell by force of gravity…They who have the faith, have the fun.”   G.K. Chesterton



 *HYMN                   “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" vs. 1-3                              No. 89

 *CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                  

Leader:      This day is holy to the Lord our God,

People:     For the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Leader:      Do not mourn or weep,

People:     But rather eat, drink and do not be grieved.      (Based on Nehem iah 8)          

Leader:      For God has played the greatest of practical jokes on death,

People:     And Jesus Christ is raised from the grave!

All:             So let us laugh and rejoice as we worship the Lord, who brings joy out of sorrow and laughter out of tears!

 *HYMN                               “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" vs. 4                     No. 89

OPENING PRAYER (seated)                                                                                               

Lord, as we stumble through this life, help us to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair.  Never let us become so indifferent that we fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.  Never let us forget that our calling is to cheer people, bringing them the joy of your saving love.  And, Lord in our final moments, may we hear you whisper: “When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”  Amen.

Adapted from “The Clown’s Prayer” of Smiles Unlimited, a clown ministry in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons, based in Indianapolis.

FIRST LESSON                          I Peter 1:3-9                                        (N.T., p. 232 )

SKIT                                   “Witness to the Resurrection”     Bill Michel and David Shaw


ANTHEM                             “God Rolled the Stone Away”                    G. Grier, D.Bryant

                    How many choir directors does it take to put in a light bulb?

                     I don't know.  Nobody ever watches the choir director!

SECOND LESSON                    Isaiah 55:10-13                                      (O.T., p. 686)


LOL TIME                           BULLETIN BLOOPERS:

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.  Music will follow.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight.  Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa..

The softball team plays Sunday at 3.  Come watch us kill Christ the King.

SHARING OF JOYS AND CONCERNS                                                                    

MORNING PRAYER                                                                                                     


INVITATION TO MINISTRY AND SHARING OF GIFTS                             Pastor Yocum

The Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours!


PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW                      No. 95         To the tune of “Fernando’s Hideaway”


Loving God, you call us to share in your love and in the work of your kingdom.  Teach us such generosity that we might give joyfully and obediently of our time, talents and treasure.  Use our gifts to transform lives in this community and around the world, for the sake of Jesus, the Risen Christ, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

*HYMN                                       “Joy to the World"                                             No. 246