Recently I was considering the role of solemnity in the gospel. In many spiritual rituals there is an expectation for a quiet, reverent demeanor. There are situations in life that bring with them a deep gravity. But at the same time there isn’t anything inherently wrong with mirth or laughter either. We are told that the gospel is a message of gladness and it is meant to be a delight to us.
Sometimes it is right to be very quiet and still and other times it is right to dance and laugh. Sometimes we should be serious and sometimes we should celebrate. With this study I want to examine the interplay of these two emotions in the gospel.
I will look at examples of both of these emotions in the scriptures, and the contexts that called for them. I will also consider situations where each would be inappropriate and why. I will be asking myself what the underlying purpose of solemnity is and what the core function of joy is.
In the meantime, have you ever had a situation that you felt was too sacred for loud words and raucous laughter? Why do you suppose that sort of behavior would have tainted the mood? What memories do you have of pure joy? Why was it good in those moments to laugh and be lighthearted?