Holy Humor Sunday: Church service aims to make hearts merry

Published 7:51 am Saturday, April 6, 2024

A merry heart, according to a verse in Proverbs, really does the spirit, soul and body good. The Mayo Clinic says, “It’s no joke,” laughter can relieve stress and improve the immune system and improve mood.

For eight years, the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Sulphur has celebrated Holy Humor Sunday. The service is  April 7, beginning at 9:45 at 1401 Argin Stl, across Beglis  Parkway from the Boiling Point in Sulphur.

“Humor can be very effective for reducing the pressure and tension caused by stress and enabling any one of us to feel more in control of our experience of life. Although we can’t always control what happens to us, we can make a choice about how we want to react and respond,” said Rev. Dr. “Bobbie Yellott.

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 This is a “resurrection” (pun intended) of an old Easter custom begun by early Christians, Yellott explained. The week following Easter Sunday was observed by the faithful as “days of joy and laughter.” This was inspired by early Christian preachers who envisioned the risen Christ laughing at the devil. 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 as Laughter Sunday, Holy Humor Sunday, Hilarity Sunday, God’s Laughter Sunday, Bright Sunday or Holy Fools Sunday. In 1988, the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches to resurrect this Christian tradition—to celebrate the grace and mercy of God through the gift of laughter and joy. As G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. Never forget that the devil fell by force of gravity. He who has the faith has the fun.”

All of the music, prayers, and Scriptures for the service focus on the “joy” theme. Hymns for the service include “Joyful, Joyful , We Adore Thee” and “Joy to the World.” The sermon will be an interactive look at joy and laughter. In addition, there will be an opportunity for worshippers to share pew-ready jokes.

Those who attend are encouraged (but not required) to wear funny clothes, practice smiling, bring appropriate jokes to tell, and bring a friend who likes (or needs) to laugh.