Ideas for Childen's Ministries and Programs

Laughter Sunday

March 18 — 4th Sunday of Lent

Scripture:  John 3: 14 – 21

Laughter Sunday

Finally!  We’ve eagerly awaited THIS Sunday – Laughter Sunday.  Members of the congregation will bring jokes and funny stories (appropriate for church, as our ads have stated), bring something funny to share, or wear something funny.  Pastor Barry always has jokes to share so he’ll have a reserve to fill in; he is also wearing a clown tie instead of the usual vestments.

For the children’s sermon, we’ll do a clown skit.  The clown comes to the children’s area, trying to catch a balloon.  When the clown (ok, it’s me) reaches a certain spot, I will find a small yellow ball.  I get an idea and bring it to the children.  I’ll guide the children to help me plant it.  They’ll use the materials listed below.  When we get the love (heart) over the pot, the plant begins to grow (clown daisy).  We’ll bring Pastor Barry over and pantomime words until he says the verse for the day:  John 3:16.  God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but have eternal life. (CEB)

We’ll give the kids clown noses (or happy faces) to help remember the verse.

Materials needed:  Clown outfit, for kids clown noses (or happy faces), balloon, yellow ball, giant flower pot, trowel, large watering can, sun, heart, and globe.

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Laughter Sunday

Laughter Sunday

“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her;

rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her (Isaiah 66:10, RSV)

 Lent, from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter, consists of 40 days plus the Sundays.  Sundays are not counted in Lent’s 40 days.  Sundays are always celebrated as “The Lord’s Day,” the day of resurrection.  During times of preparation, Lent and Advent, our worship frequently takes on a somber tone.  We focus so much on awareness of the cross, death, and sorrow for sins that we neglect the joy and new life of the resurrection.  This year our worship will focus on preparing our lives to be open, welcoming places ready for God’s presence.  The center of our worship days in Lent will be “Laughter Sunday.”

“Laughter Sunday” has its roots in ancient tradition. In the Catholic Church, the 4th Sunday of Lent is called, “Laetare Sunday.”  Laetare (Latin for “Rejoice!”) is traditionally the first word of the first reading for this Sunday (Isaiah 66: 10 – 11).  As a midpoint in Lent, this Sunday is a brief period of celebration in the middle of the austerity of Lent.  Purple sanctuary colors are changed to rose colored ones.  Churches (which do not play the organ during Lent and bury the “Alleluias”) celebrate with organ music.  Flowers, normally forbidden during Lent, are placed on the altar. A special cake is made and shared. 

In Protestant churches in recent years, some churches celebrate, “Laughter Sunday.”  Pastors and numerous folk from the congregation tell jokes and stories, and everybody celebrates a wonderful time of laughter and good spirits. Churches have a worship time together by joking around, singing, dancing, and merry-making.  We celebrate the hope and joy of resurrection with God who is a God of laughter and joy.  

This year, Pastor Barry invites you to bring jokes or stories to share.  Bring only clean, respectful stories or jokes; think of this as “Holy Humor Sunday.”   If you have a funny picture or item to share, that would be welcome, too.  During the service, you will be invited to share!  Let’s laugh together!

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