Vatican City — An ecumenical council of Christian churches announced today that, beginning in 2016, Easter will always fall on the first Monday in April. This will allow for better long-range planning of Holy Week services, Easter egg hunts, school breaks, and the traditional rioting following the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
“We’ve been talking about this move for millennia,” said Vatican spokesman Msgr. Alberto Viocinque. “Everybody likes a shorter work week, right? And there’s definitely a Biblical precedent.” (According to the gospel of Matthew, after His death and resurrection, Jesus “did pretty much blow off the following Monday.”)
There was another compelling reason for the change. The date for Easter each year has traditionally been determined by ‘The Calculus’, a highly complex formula that involves the phases of the moon, barometric pressure, the number of letters in the pope’s last name, and the Vegas odds on the Cubs winning the pennant. “It was giving the Holy Father math anxiety,” the monsignor confided. “He’s not a numbers guy.”
Rt. Rev. Thomas Urqhuart-Farquart, Anglican bishop of Shropshire, expressed the approval of his denomination. “We need Easter to be more consumer-friendly. God knows — because He knows everything — that we’re having enough trouble getting people into church these days. Even my wife won’t come unless I offer ‘frequent prayer points’ and free wi-fi.”
In another move geared toward the religious consumer, Christians will have the option of fulfilling their Easter obligation by attending services on either Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Or, they may stay home and watch an episode of Michael Landon’s 1980s TV series Highway To Heaven.
Some things will not change. “Good Friday will remain on a Friday,” Bishop Urqhuart-Farquart noted. “We didn’t want to re-brand it.” For the same reason, a motion to update the name to “Jesus H. Friday” was voted down, as was “Holy Freaking Thursday.”
Asked if there was any discussion about making Christmas a Monday holiday, Msgr. Viocinque replied, “No, no. Some traditions you cannot (mess) with.” He added, “Although, personally, I like Christmas on a Thursday, because then God gives us Friday off.”
Photo: Pal Berge