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Hallo again to all.

We have, on rare occasion, been accused of lacking in humour. Admittedly we spent most of yesterday, 1 April, looking over our shoulders and forming our analyses and responses with deliberation. For (arguably) nearly a millennium the first of April has been associated with foolishness and hoaxing*, the association of the general time of year going back even further to the Roman festival of Hilaria. Regardless there is an undisputed link between 1 April and foolishness dating to the 16th century, in the forms of French and Flemish poetry. We think it unlikely then, that this rather discomforting day built on jokes, hoaxes, levity, satire, and the necessity to remain ever vigilant to the movement of one's 'friends' and the media, will fade anytime soon. We, and future generations, will remake this game of cat and mouse to trick and fool each other on the first of April.

Upon looking at our diary for the coming year, we found ourselves smirking as we discovered that the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord will come on this exalted day next year, 2018. We at first wondered how preposterously inappropriate this pairing appears. Yet the more we ruminated, the more we questioned our initial reaction. April Fools last coincided with the Paschal Feast in 1956†, coinciding the day between three and four times per century.

There's a temptation to find the shallow link between apparent foolishness and belief in the resurrection, but worry not, there is no simple sermon in the coming paragraphs, nor a history of the role of the jester in the medieval court.‡ Instead, we ponder what this day may resemble when the dates coincide. Eggs are already filled with chocolate and coins rather than albumen and yolk. Might altar flowers be made of silk? Or the church bulletin contain inappropriate-for-the-day songs, later not to be sung? Perhaps a child rises to deliver the homily, or a churchwarden rises to announce the parish will be joining Baptists in the coming weeks. Will the Easter dinner platter contain a plush pig or sheep, rather than the ham or lamb to be eaten later (stored safely in the kitchen), or the hot cross buns, marked instead with wheels or curls? Will a beloved family member claim to be missing the meal, only to pop in minutes later, in a moment of surprise? Or will the feast of our resurrection prevail? A festal service of welcome to visitors and those unseen since Christmas. A stalwart feast of the church and society. A day already so atypical that it can hold no more strangeness. We will find out in 365 days.

Till then, and thereafter, we will see you next week!

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

2 April 2017

*In the section of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Nun's Priest’s Tale, Chaucer tells the story of a vain cock who falls for a trick of a fox. Included is an ambiguous allusion to 1 April, as 'Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two'.

†And will again next in 2029.

‡ Though if you seek a history of Jesters, we recommend: Otto, Beatrice. Fooling Around the World: The History of the Jester. University of Chicago Press (2001). A useful excerpt of which may be found here:

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