For Christus Victor, see posts tagged with that phrase and
Christus Victor texts:
- Matthew 12:28/ Luke 11:20
- Mark 10:45
- Luke 4: 1-21
- John 1:4-5
- John 12:31-33
- Romans 5:15-21
- Romans 8:31-39
- Romans 16:19
- 1 Corinthians 2:6-7
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- Galatians 4: 3-9
- Ephesians 1: 19-23
- Ephesians 3:9-10
- Ephesians 4: 7-10
- Ephesians 6:12
- Colossians 1:13-14
- Colossians 2:8-19
- Hebrews 2:14
- 1 Peter 3:21-22
- I John 3:8
The biggest joke of all, of course, is on Satan. That would be Easter, the day the bad guys thought they'd won—but didn't. The ancients have a long tradition of understanding Easter Sunday in terms of humor.
Early church fathers such as Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and even John of Chrysostom mused that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the grave. The Greek Orthodox Church even gave the joke the theological name of "risus paschalis"— Easter laughter (Segal 2001, 24). link
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Risus PaschalisThis strange custom originated in Bavaria in the fifteenth century. The priest inserted in his sermon funny stories which would cause his hearers to laugh (Ostermärlein), e.g. a description of how the devil tries to keep the doors of hell locked against the descending Christ. Then the speaker would draw the moral from the story. This Easter laughter, giving rise to grave abuses of the word of God, was prohibited by Clement X (1670_1676) and in the eighteenth century by Maximilian III and the bishops of Bavaria (Wagner, De Risu Paschali, Königsberg, 1705; Linsemeier, Predigt in Deutschland, Munich, 1886). FREDERICK G. HOLWECK link--
From Irenic Thoughts"
Risus Paschalis means "the Easter Laugh" and refers to God playing a trick on Satan by letting him kill Jesus, thereby letting him think he had won, only to raise Jesus back to life on the third day. Since 1988, The Fellowship of Merry Christianshas been working to bring back the laughter following Easter with what it calls Holy Humor Sunday on one of the two Sundays following Easter. There are churches that call it Bright Sunday and encourage wearing Hawaiian shirts and the like.
Our Episcopal neighbors down at St. Peter's, Fernandina are celebrating this today. The idea is new on me, though I like it. I've tried to do some research and I find quoted widely this exact phrase from the Merry Christian website,
I did also find a reference in the Catholic Encyclopedia which notes the much more solid background for the tradition:
I also found this reference in an 1898 book Curiosities of Popular Customs and of Rites, Ceremonies, Observances, and Miscellaneous Antiquities by William Shepard Walsh
It was a time of exuberant joy. Gregory of Nyssa draws a vivid picture of the joyous crowds who by their dress, a feature still preserved and their devout attendance at church, sought to do honor to the festival. All labor ceased all trades were suspended. It was a favorite time for baptism, the law courts were closed, alms were given to the poor slaves were freed. Easter Sunday became known as Dominica gaudii "Sunday of Joy." In the reaction from the austerities of Lent, people gave themselves up to enjoyment popular sports dances and farcical entertainments. In some places the clergy to increase the mirth recited from the pulpit humorous stories and legends for the purpose of exciting the Risus Paschalis or "Easter smile."
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead.
This strange custom originated in Bavaria in the fifteenth century. The priest inserted in his sermon funny stories which would cause his hearers to laugh, e.g. a description of how the devil tries to keep the doors of hell locked against the descending Christ. Then the speaker would draw the moral from the story. This Easter laughter, giving rise to grave abuses of the word of God, was prohibited by Clement X (1670-1676) and in the eighteenth century by Maximilian III and the bishops of Bavaria. link---------
From Salem UCC
For centuries, in Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant countries, Easter Monday and “Bright Sunday” (the Sunday after Easter) were observed by the faithful as “days of joy and laughter” with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.Parishioners and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, sang, and danced. It was a time for clergy and people to tell jokes and to have fun.The custom of Easter Monday and Bright Sunday celebrations were rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Easter was “God’s supreme joke played on death.” “ Risus paschalis ?~ the Easter laugh,” the early theologians called it.In 1988, observing that the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection has been sorely neglected by 20th-century Christianity, the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging member churches and prayer groups to resurrect the old Christian custom of Easter Monday or “Bright Sunday” celebrations, as the early Greek Christians called it.At a time when Jesus’ resurrection has been subjected to an onslaught of ridicule and disbelief, the Fellowship sought to shore up belief through ongoing resurrection celebrations. link
Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the early Greek Christians --- "Bright Sunday" or "Holy Humor Sunday" celebrations on the Sunday after Easter. For centuries in all Christian faith traditions, the week following Easter Sunday was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Visit the Holy Humor Website athttp://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/hhsunday.asp.