Happy Resurrection Sunday, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, pimps, players and women of the night!
I have a feeling that there will be two groups who will decide to read this. There are those who will, at first glance at the title, immediately know this is be a guide on how to survive a Black church today. Then there and those who will digest the subject and think I am going to teach them the history of Resurrection Sunday. If you in the latter group, we don’t really have time for you heathendom sinners this morning. Do us all a time saving favor: grab a bible (preferably the King James Version), turn to any of the gospels (that would be Saint Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), and decide if you actually believe Jesus rose from the dead. If the story sounds cool, go on and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Congratulations!
I extend to you the digital right hand of fellowship and all the privileges associated with being a card carrying member of the body of Christ. Umm Jesus, do me a favor and please keep count of the souls I brought into the kingdom today. I might need those credits somewhere down the line.
Now, for those of you who immediately understood that this is in fact a guide to how to survive a Black church on Resurrection Sunday, welcome. This group probably grew up in a Black church, overrun with poorly tapered suit pants, judgy church mothers, flirty deacons, dramatic passive-aggressive testimonies, hour long praise & worship sessions, some of the world’s best musicians, call and response sermons, and the most hilarious moments of your childhood in the form of a shouting saint. In essence, you grew in the cornerstone of Black culture, pieced together from lost African rituals and the style of worship invented by our enslaved ancestors. Now before all my Black and Black-adjacent ass friends and family jump to giving me a hard time about today’s content, let me say, I LOVE the black church. It is an absolute thing of beauty, rich in culture and the mystical ability to resurge the most weary spirit. The Black church is probably responsible for about 22% of what I am and 10% of what I’m not. Mathematically speaking, I guess that means that I’m made up of about 12% Black church. And I’m not really sure if that math is right, but the point is, the Black church helped to make me who I am. But the Black church can be a beautiful MESS. And I’m pretty sure y’all know it.
So because I grew up in the church and survived at least 25 Resurrection Sundays, I figured I’d put a little guide together to help those of you who only see the inside of the church house once or twice a year or when you’re attempting to get those charges dropped or that rent paid up.
All: DO wear pastels.
Fellas: DO NO wear a suit with more than three buttons
Ladies: Do yourself a favor and just ask the men folk what you are allowed to squeeze into today. Because for some reason, in the Black church (and all over the world), men believe they have the right to dictate what women put on their bodies. There was probably a handout distributed last week that explained how long your skirt/dress should be, what color stockings you will wear (and you WILL wear stockings or risk falling into Juanita Bynum’s hoe category), what color nail polish and lipstick is allowed, how much arm you may show, how low your blouse will be cut, your hairstyle, complete with shoe and perfume selection. If you did not receive this handout or cannot readily find one of these godly men to lead you in the right direction, seek one of those judgy church mothers. They’ll probably just tell you to stay home because nothing you put on will actually ever suffice.
Music/Choir: They. Will. Be. Doing. The. Absolute. Most. Today’s service is literally about Jesus and the choir director. Today, the Minister of Music will be in rare form. In an attempt to draw the eye and impress you rare birds who attend church once a year, the music department has put together a full on production, complete with freshly dry-cleaned robes, new song selections, guest musicians, its best soloist, and a fully choreographed entrance. Be prepared to sing along to every hymn about The Blood. And if your choir doesn’t dab at least twice this morning and remix something from the secular radio you were listening to on the way to the church house, they’re wack, unprepared, and didn’t really try.
Offering: Just give it up. Today’s sermon will focus on the sacrifice God made in the form of the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross and how its power covers every area of your life, including your finances. Then you’ll be asked if you actually believe in the power of the blood of Jesus. And of course you will say yes because you don’t want to say no and be dragged, United style, down to the alter only to be surrounded by missionaries and deacons who will question you, on the live mic, in front of the entire inflated congregation, about your faith, or lack thereof. So when you halfheartedly answer “yes I believe that God sacrificed his son’s blood and it never looses its power” you will be asked to demonstrate this by the making your own sacrifice in the form of a financial “seed”. And again, you don’t want to be the ONE person who doesn’t comply. So go on and drop your last $20 or write that check you know you can’t really afford to be out here writing. It’s Easter.
Ushers: Don’t fuck with them today. Sit EXACTLY where they tell you to sit, walk and stand only when they allow you to do so, and talk if and ONLY if you are spoken to. Don’t come unless they send. They’re not here for it. You will die.
Men: They will be so glad to see you!
Women: Just smile, shower them with respectful greetings, and move on. Nothing you can do will stop the fact that they’re judging you.
Duration: Black church usually starts around 11am and will last 3-4 hours today. Take snacks and your charger. Ensure the snacks are sugary as you’ll probably need something to give your blood sugar quick bursts in order to remain focused. You are strong and bold for even deciding to go, and I tip my church hat to you.
Okay! Y’all enjoy and let me know how it goes. I’ll be attending West Angeles Church of God in Christ from my living room in Dallas today. Yeah I know. Go on and judge me. 😋