When I put something online that is date-specific it is absolutely certain that there will be a lot of (annoyed) reactions. Especially, noticeably, from USA.
When I put up the (ever-popular) April First article, immediately the reaction from USA was “It is March 31”. I guess these people think that the rest of the planet should wait until April 2, when it is finally April 1 in USA, until we put up our date-specific post?! [I daren’t suggest these people think the world is flat].
It happens when I put up a saint’s feast day, or another liturgical day…
My favourite reaction this year (I won’t embarrass him publicly by putting the link, but his comments are public online) is a reaction, not from USA but from UK, someone explaining “the new day starts somewhat earlier in the southern hemisphere”! When I tried to point out that the planet doesn’t rotate from south to north, he insisted that he had evidence for his thesis: “It’s still 31 March here in the UK”! But Brazil and Argentina start the day after UK – and they are in the Southern Hemisphere…
There is a (serious) liturgical point here: We in NZ are conscious that we begin the world’s celebrations. As we, here, light the new fire, for example, at the Easter Vigil, we are conscious that we begin the world’s celebration of the Resurrection. As the sphere rolls on, the celebration is picked up with the fire lit in Sydney and South Korea, in Jakarta and then in Kolkata, Jerusalem, Cape Town, Warsaw, Ouagadougou, and yes, the UK, Rio de Janeiro, Sucre, and then, finally USA begins – to complete the day. As people light the new Easter fire in Los Angeles are they not conscious of this glorious relay of torch-passing that has preceded them as, on our rotating planet, Christians light thousands upon thousands of fires – our united Resurrection challenge to the planet’s darkness? USA completes the planet’s day – a privilege every bit as great as Aotearoa New Zealand’s honour to start it. And we also need every other person in this chain along the way.
So, April Fools lies behind us. Archaeologists Find Q was the most-visited post on my website ever. Still being visited, it looks to be somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors, with more than 100,000 viewing it on facebook. Thank you to all who shared it (on facebook around 700 shares), including Evangelical Textual Criticism. The server coped until it got to a visit a second. Regulars know, one of the goals I have is to finish the rebuild of the RapidWeaver parts of the website all to WordPress and then move the website to a server that will cope with the large numbers that the site sometimes gets and then people find that they cannot get on.
As for other April Fools’ jokes – I really liked Illustrated Children’s Ministry Unveils Groundbreaking New Summer Curriculum: An Illustrated Leviticus and Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music adds fish to Eucharist for trial use.
Oh – and remember, people in USA (and UK), your April Fools’ jokes arrive for the rest of us (the majority of us), on the planet, on April 2. We don’t get snarky with you. We still laugh.
I hope, if you appreciated this post today, that you share it (facebook and so on). And do remember to like the liturgy facebook page, use the RSS feed, and sign up for a not-very-often email, … And if you enjoyed the April Fools post, you can, of course, look up previous years by using the Archive of Posts date on the right-hand column.