Saint Luke's Catholic Church in McLean, Va decorated for Pentecost. Balloons are part of Easter decorations in some congregations on Bright Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.
Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007
At Easter I am accustomed to quoting John Chrysostom’s Easter homily when he speaks of the angels being “wild with delight” at Jesus’ Resurrection. I believe that there is also in that sermon the thought that “God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead.” The early theologians used this phrase “risus paschalis,” Easter laugh or Easter joke to name that practical joke.
Some churches celebrate this idea with what they call “Bright Sunday” on the Sunday after Easter. The congregation decorates the Church with balloons; they arrive dressed in funny costumes; and the pastor invites stand-up comedy to the sanctuary. So if anyone of you has a joke to tell, this is the last day in the Easter season. Tell it now or hold your peace until next Easter!
(As a matter of fact, a woman did get up to tell this joke: "A man and wife from the United States were vacationing in Jerusalem when the woman suddenly died. The undertaker told the man that he could bury his wife right near Jerusalem for $500 or have the body flown home for $5,000. Without thinking the man said that he would prefer to fly the body home. The undertaker was a little perplexed at the choice since it was so expensive and he asked the man why he made the choice. And the man said, 'I heard that Jerusalem is the place where a man died and in three days rose from the dead. I don't want to take any chances!'" Not the best joke for the several married couples present but she got a good laugh anyway..... I am saving my joke for next year!)