Funny Things Happen At Church

Last weekend I had the best time!  It had been several months since I had the opportunity to go to Knoxville to visit with Donna and Nene,  so when I saw a break in my schedule I took advantage of it.  Did we ever make up for lost time!  We checked out a few restaurants, shopped, celebrated my nephew’s birthday, and sat around and talked about old times.  It didn’t take us long to launch the giggles. 

Any time we get together, one of our favorite topics of conversation is all the funny things that happened at church.  We generally revisit the same old stories, but this time a new memory emerged from the cobwebs of our brains.  Donna said, “Do you remember how we used to take the hymnal out of the rack during church and hold our fingers over the words to make up a new title?”  We dissolved into laughter as we recalled the various combinations.  “Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight…..In The Garden” was one example.  “Yes, and we used to add words to the songs while we were singing, too.”  added Nene.  The corners of my mouth stretched far across my teeth as I held my tummy, enduring the sweet agony of laughter.  “Love lifted me….put me down.”  was one that I remembered, along with, “I was sinking deep in sin….yippee!”.  Oh my, we were so irreverant.  Playing hymn havoc was harmless.

We didn’t mean any sacrilege.  One has to understand that we practically lived at church.  We were there every time the doors were opened, and more.  We loved going to church, we loved God, and we didn’t like to miss any sessions, but sometimes acting up in church was worth getting a spanking, just to relieve the sameness of the routine.  Our happiest moments were spent in church, or at church functions.   We have shaken the pews many times with our uncontrolable observance of the hilarity of a given situation.  We can’t help it, it is engrained in our very being.  

Before I could read, I thought that to be able to sing those hymns you had to go to the front of the church and pray with the preacher.  After you prayed, you would somehow automatically know the words to the song. 

We didn’t have children’s church back in the day.  All the children were in the worship service with the adults.  Children worship in precious abandon and purity.  They also react to funny things….out loud!  If a soloist was bad, we laughed.  If a preacher got his “Ah Ha brother” going, we laughed.  If Billy Wilson was picking his nose, we giggled.  When Sammy Mitchell slid on the floor on his belly from the front pew and popped up on the back one, we snickered.  When his mother, Thelma, sat and flipped Samson’s socks during the “preaching”, we got tickled.  Honestly, what would you have done?  I don’t see how the adults kept a straight face.  Well…sometimes they didn’t.

Daddy was preaching, “There’s nothing more disgusting than these men running around in shorts.  They look like lemons with toothpicks stuck in them!”  I’m sorry, but that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.  The adults laughed.  I supposed there is an appropriate time to laugh in church.  Children don’t know the difference.

I still love going to church.  I look forward to the music, sermons, and fellowship.  Sometimes I get tickled.  My parents, if still living, would give me a good talkin’ to.  Somehow, I believe that they might be smiling along with me, nodding in agreement that it is okay to see the merriment of the funny things at church.  At least, I’d like to think so.

Explore posts in the same categories: church, humor, Memories, Story

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6 Comments on “Funny Things Happen At Church”

  1. menopausemama Says:

    Pam,

    I love reading your childhood memory stories. I never changed any church hymns but I’ve changed the words to the Star Spangled Banner.

  2. Archer Pam Says:

    I would like to hear those lyrics, Bev!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Pam,

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder of childhood innocence and delight. I so enjoyed your story about Church! My mother was married 5 times, once to a Catholic, once to a Mormon, once to a Presbyterian, once to a Southern Baptist and once to a heathen. And her boss of 15 years was Jewish so we even went to Temple once in a while. While my roots are in Catholicism, my upbringing exposed me to many religious viewpoints.

    It was only natural that I study religion in college (Graduated from Florida Religious Studies Institute) and it was really a wonderful way to see the world. Let me tell you that no matter what religion you practice, children act the same. So it makes your story even more precious to me because its universal.

    Thanks so much for the way you see the world! You are a very special person and I hope to one day be beside you singing in Church!

    Warmest regards,

    Heidi Richards Mooney, Publisher
    WE Magazine for Women

  4. Kelly Says:

    I love reading the stories of you all growing up. With dad gone it keeps me in touch with the family.

  5. Archer Pam Says:

    Kelly,
    Curtis is always close to us, because we hold his memory in our hearts.


  6. How daring! Changing the words to a hymn. Good little Catholic girl that I was, I would never have dared something so outrageous. I’ll just have to read your post again and enjoy the experience vicariously through you. I’m so glad I know such a rebel!


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