Easter Sunday is Basically the Beyoncé of Sundays So Be Prepared
Parishioners sing during Easter service in Harlem at Mount Olivet Baptist Church on April 8, 2007, in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Any self-respecting churchgoer knows Easter Sunday is basically the Beyoncé of Sundays. Ushers in formation, hats on hats on hats, and Church Mothers wishing a nigga would sit in their pew; it’s a big deal, and rightfully so. Jesus was dead, chilled for a second, said hell nah, Xmen’d a stone, waved bye to his haters and rose again sans any CGI effects. Who does that? Well, besides Morgan Freeman, who at this moment is the true and living God.
Considering the aforementioned, coupled with Black people’s innate ability to be extra as ish, it’s only right that we celebrate Jesus’ ultimate Whodini move with praise in the form of bedazzled, dry-heaving preachers and little girls shrouded in more ruffles than Prince’s closet.
So for all you believers, saved and unsaved, who will venture into the House of the Lordt this coming Sunday morn, here are a few things to keep in mind during worship service. (Friendly reminder No. 1: The building fund is a pyramid scheme dipped in communion juice and loose change. Remember last Easter when you tithed an extra $10 to contribute to a new refrigerator for the Mother Ruth Jenkins Fellowship Hall? Well the fridge is still in layaway and Mother Ruth is actually a code name for the First Lady’s prayer cloth collection).
The First Lady will stunt.
This is her sanctuary and she did not come to play with you hoes. Any First Lady worth her fascinator knows this is the day the Lord has made to do the entire most. Don’t not acknowledge her fabulousness, don’t try to restrain her praise (because she will stand for the majority of the service simply to notice you noticing her), and don’t you dare sit in her pew. But for real, don’t even think about the sheer awesomeness of sitting in her pew. Stanning over this coveted seat, and heaven forbid you have the audacity to actually sit your self down in her spot, is basically the equivalent of telling a Black mother what you’re not finna’ do and thinking you’ll live to tell the story. Bottom line, there’s just some things you don’t do.
Despite what it looks like, Steve Harvey is not in attendance.
Considering the droves of comforter/sheet-set inspired, six button suits in the sanctuary, it’s easy to think otherwise but don’t let the lingering breeze left by deacon’s pants fool you. This is prime operating time for that one guy who sells suits in the parking lot of the barbershop and please believe your Uncle Titus is not his only client. Then there are the colors. From ROY to BIV, no pantone is left unbothered. There’s Skittles Green, Grape Jelly Belly Purple, Laffy Taffy Blue and my lifelong favorite, Peach Faygo Pink.
The choir is going to do the absolute most.
If your choir doesn’t hit the Dougie, Bankhead Bounce, Cupid Shuffle and stick a double pike half twist, all on the downbeat, they didn’t try. The step and sway is cute for a first Sunday, but this is when it’s perfectly normal and universally expected for the senior choir to Milly Rock down the aisle during the processional. Also know that the choir is going to sing any and every hymnal containing the word “blood,” and will likely put the sexually ambiguous members of the tenor section front and center due to their unique ability to shout on cue.
Lastly, beware of that one praise and worship leader you can’t stand who swears she’s the second coming of gospel Beyoncé. You see, she will actually be over the music ministry for the day and because of that, has intentionally paired her pink tutu with mid top Converse and her favorite Eleven60 work blazer. You’ve been warned.
The dance team will do the most as well. Actually they’ll have no chill at all.
I have a theory. There’s nothing more extra than a saved Black person. I initially thought Rachel Dolezal’s commitment to rocking Senegalese Twists would take top honors until I saw a spiritual dance team perform an interpretative dance to the chopped and screwed version of “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”
The Easter Bunny ain’t s**t.
Eff the Easter Bunny and everything he stands for. Jesus is Lord so why are you worried about Peeps? So what if Peter Cottontail shoots out chocolate flavored yoni eggs once a year, the preacher will not be here for it. Jesus is the reason for the season therefore you don’t have time to concern yourself with worldy things such as Easter egg hunts. If by chance you do get your hands on an Easter basket, particularly if you’re old enough to know you’re too old to have one, congratulations, you’ve just uncovered the world’s best and worst hospitality ministry.
Don’t try the ushers.
Let them be great today. Ushers are basically the air traffic controllers of the sanctuary and they deserve respect, or at minimum the common courtesy of you only taking one program (you know good and well the church clerk snuck and printed them at her job before service, so taking anything more than the allotted one per member is just heartless). Yes Sister Jackie forgot her white and black attire and is now ushering in an eggshell colored blouse, white tights that puddle at her ankles and orthopedic slip-ons, but that’s none of your business. Stand when told, sit where instructed and don’t start nothing and there won’t be nothing.
Make room for the Holy Ghost.
…but like, a lot of room, especially when the Holy Ghost hits the runners. Let’s actually take a break here for one second. No shade to anyone’s praise, however, if you know your worship of God tends to reveal itself in the form of an ode to Usain Bolt, please sit in an exit row. These runners take people out and I for one am not risking a head-on collision on my way to the water fountain all because your auntie won $200 at the casino and now has a praise on the inside. But I digress.
Back to the Holy Ghost. I’ve always held firm to the belief that the most powerful member of any Black church is the keyboard player. Why? Because no other human being possesses the ability to single-handedly usher in the spirit of God like a church musician. With a flick of the wrist these men and women make a mundane service lit AF. Get ready because when the beat drops (oh and it will), folks will get turnt. If by chance you’re not akin to a Black praise break, prepare yourself for a crash course and also get out of the way, literally. On any given chord the person next to you will dance like David, twirl like Bey and/or faint like that one chick from America’s Next Top Model.
The preacher and [insert your favorite hype man] are pretty much one in the same.
Don’t believe me, just wait until the preacher says (because he will say this) “…and on the third day he got up!” and watch the congregation get their entire lives.
So there you have it, you’re now officially ready for the Sunday of Sundays. Go starch your outfit, shine your shoes, get that one updo your auntie always wears and sway your way into the house of the Lord. Govern yourselves accordingly.