Giving honor to Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton, Managing Editor Genetta Adams and all of the saints at The Root Apostolic First Nazareth Pentecostal Church of Blackness.
Because of the increasing threat of the coronavirus global pandemic, we have created this handy guide with suggestions for how you can celebrate the risen Christ while still observing black America’s official stay-the-fuck-at-home orders issued by our pastor and head of state, Rev. Samuel L. Jackson.
We created this instructional guide because Black Easter is different from White Easter. For years I lived under the assumption that my Caucasian friends didn’t celebrate Resurrection Sunday because when I passed by their churches on Easter, they’d be wearing khakis, polos and even shorts. I was eventually disabused of this notion after a classmate wore a pair of formal dockers to our high school prom. When I jokingly suggested that he could’ve worn his Easter suit, he replied: “I did.”
But the thing that inspired this tutorial to the inaugural #BlackEasterAtHome was this formal statement received by The Root:
After much consultation with my father, who so loved the world that he gave y’all me, so that you would not perish, we have decided to call off all Easter services this year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. While truly appreciate the sentiment, we cannot, in good faith, advise you to attend church during this pandemic. We’d like to keep people off the sick and shut-in list, as it has consumed most of our time over the last few weeks
Furthermore, our attorneys will send a cease-and-desist smiting to any church holding services in my name. I suggested an old-school plague but dad said he had already taken care of that part. Plus, while we have plenty of fire available, Amazon would not have delivered our supply of brimstone in time (We forgot to replenish our stock after Sodom and Gomorrah).
Anyway… Y’all stay home.
I didn’t die for this.
Jesus da Christ, MD*
Here are the rules for Black Easter:
Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the best part of this religious observance—the clothes.
If you purchased an Easter outfit, feel free to wear it to the living room. You can just crop out the socks before you Snapchat a shot of your 23-button, Jolly Rancher-colored suit from the Steve Harvey Collection. And don’t worry about getting a haircut.
And ladies, the great part about #EasterAtHome is that you don’t have to spend Good Friday getting your hair done, painting your toenails Easter Bunny pink or wearing those uncomfortable, 11-inch stilettos (which is really unfair because I have it on good authority that Mary Magdelene and Mary Not-Magdelene were both wearing sandals when Jesus pulled up at the first Easter day party).
Or alternately, you don’t have to get dressed at all!
Most people don’t know that Jesus wore pajamas to his welcome back party. He didn’t even shower. So, if Christian means a “follower of Christ,” then you should take his fashion advice, too (The body piercings don’t count. They were involuntary).
Everyone knows that the sunrise service is the best Easter Service because it is less crowded. That’s why you should wake up early, just like the Savior. Jerusalem is seven hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, so, if you want to be up at Jesus Rising Time, you should probably start your services late Saturday night.
I’ve been advocating for an Easter “watchnight service” for years and now would be a good time to start this tradition. It could be like a New Years’ Eve party but instead of champagne toasts, you take communion. At this point in the quarantine, all that’s left in my house are wine and crackers, anyway.
The good thing about attending an #EasterAtHome service is that you always have a seat in one of the front pews (your living room sofa). It’s damn near like you’re a deacon or a mother of the church! And what is a pew if not an uncomfortable couch?
#EasterAtHome has the best music!
First of all, a nightgown is basically a boneless choir robe, so you can pretend you’re the featured soloist who always asks the church to pray for her before she sings the black version of “Amazing Grace” because she has a cold. (The black “Amazing Grace” is the one that goes “shall always be my song of praise”—not the one that “saved a wretch like me.”)
Or, perhaps your whole family can form a choir. My cousins and I just had Facetime choir practice a few hours ago. (We had to practice marching into the living room.) If you want to take it to another level, you can stream your favorite gospel and pretend you’re the choir director. You can even direct the Joel Osteen concert with Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry. (Don’t act like you never wanted to direct the choir and perform those wild gesticulations that look so fun but don’t really mean anything.)
Of course, if you’re gonna have Easter service, you’ll have to have some shouting music handy in case someone catches the Holy Ghost. While white people sing hymns and, at best, have “hosannas,” shouting is a Black Easter tradition that dates back to the time when Mary first saw her son and took a praise break after she felt the Holy Spirit move her. (That’s also how Mary got her son.) Since then, shouting has consistently extended Black Easter services, on average, by 23 percent.
And no, Spotify doesn’t have a channel dedicated exclusively to streaming shouting music.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any Easter Egg hunts this year. Not only are large gatherings not safe, but do you know how hard it is to get eggs right now? We can’t be wasting America’s valuable chicken-based resources by boiling eggs and hiding them in bushes outside the house.
Plus, there ain’t no more “outside the house.”
Easter baskets are still fun, though. If you can’t get to Target to buy candy and those nasty Cadbury eggs, just throw some goodies in a Tupperware dish and give it to the children. They might not appreciate it now, but they’ll be able to tell their kids about the time when the Easter Bunny bought them a butter tub filled with cough drops, Sucrets and old Halloween treats.
Instead of preparing an Easter speech, let the kids have fun with it this year. Perhaps they can create their own Easter carol from their favorite song. I know you want to hear a sample, so here it is:
Old Rugged Cross is on my back
Judas pockets full of cash
Mary’s crying “please come back!”
A crown of thorns for a hat
The devil, he’s a liar
I am the messiah
For your sins, I’ll die but
They can’t crucify us
And Pontius Pilate can’t tell me nothinnnnng!
He can’t tell me nothing!
(Chorus) Jesus took his cross down to Galilee Road
He diiiiiiiiied but then he rose!
If that song doesn’t make you want to shout, you don’t have the Holy Ghost.
All Black Easter sermons have one thing in common: The pastor will use Jesus’ crucifixion as a metaphor for whatever is going on in the world right now. Using our proprietary prophesying technology, The Root has already predicted the basic outline of every Easter sermon that will be preached this Sunday.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
See, In the time of a global pandemic, Jesus is your mask and your gloves. Because we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the coronavirus. And what did He do for his people in John 13?
He washed them (This is also how we know Jesus was black. Because, in the fifth verse, he used a washcloth). That’s how you must wash yourself in the blood of Jesus...and soap. Let Him be your hand sanitizer!
And when he rose on the third day, what did he tell Mary? In John 20:17, Jesus told Mary: “Touch me not.” Let that be a lesson to you:
Even the Savior can practice social distancing.
(Then your pastor will get to the sweating and yelling part.)
Saints, I know sometimes it feels like you’re stuck in this house called hopelessness and fear. But there is a man who can heal your preexisting condition of sin. I know a man who can defeat the coronavirus. The Lord wants you to be safe out here in these coronavirus streets. If you give your life to Christ, he will make you one of his essential workers! Somebody say Amen! And when he returns from his great quarantine, he will take us into his arms, and we won’t have to stay at home no more! Hallelujah!
Turn to your neighbor (whoever is in your house) and say: “Neighbor... Jesus is my first responder. Neighbor... I’m going to shelter-in-place with Christ!”
Please prepare yourselves for the offering.
Jesus doesn’t have a CashApp.
Black Easter is free.