Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Christmas Eve & Easter Services . . . and Community life–words from Forrest Church

Pastor Cranky just found this in an old sermon by the late, great Forrest Church, of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in NYC.  What he says about Easter attendance is probably even more relevant to the high attendance we see at Christmas Eve services (in UU churches and all other kinds, I am sure).

Forrest Church     April 4, 1999

Let me tell you a little secret about Easter sermons. They almost always begin with a joke. Catholic Easter sermons. Protestant Easter Sermons. If there were such a thing as Jewish Easter sermons I can promise you they too would begin with a joke. Not that death is funny, even with resurrection as a rider. It’s just that jokes make people comfortable. Since a quarter of you are making your yearly or bi-yearly pilgrimage to church, and therefore must feel at least a little strange sitting in a pew, a good joke can work wonders in the ‘Relax this is not a scary place” department.

Believe me, I am delighted that you are here. Thank you for coming. Come back if you wish. I should add, that regular Sundays are far more real than Easter Sunday. Not as festive perhaps, but on regular Sundays you are part of a community, not part of an occasion. Occasions are wonderful. Community is better.


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I really thought that this was a great reflection on the Easter turnout and a nice invitation for the rest of the year.

Comment by Looking Out The Window

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