I thought it would be amusing to catalog some of the more humorous things I have heard over the years in church. Here goes: 

Heard from the pulpit one Sunday:

A little boy was asked during Sunday school how many times someone could marry.  He said, “Sixteen”.  The teacher wanted to know how he arrived at that number.   “Easy” was the answer.  “Just add them up.  For better or worse, for richer or poorer”. 


Heard from the lectern:

“A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Filipinos.”

On another occasion, from the same lectern:

“A reading from the Letter ot St. Paul to the Coliseums.

Perhaps St. Paul was catching a Rams game?


Also heard from the same lectern:

“The Sadducees (pronounced Sa-Duke-ies) and the Pharisees…


This actually happened:

The seminarian was told to chant higher.  He lifted his head up…


From a bishop I knew:

“In wisdom He made them all.  And we have them all…”  


From the same bishop: 

School board member: “What order of nuns teaches at your parish school?   He answered, “None.” 


From a Sunday School Class:

Teacher:  “Where is Bethlehem?”

Fourth Grader:  “Pennsylvania.”


From the same Sunday School teacher in a Byzantine Catholoic Church:

Teacher:  What do we know about cherubim? 

Fourth grader:  Yeah, Yeah. Six winged, many-eyed, soaring about on their wings, singing, shouting and crying out the Triumphal hymn (repeating the Divine Liturgy).  What else you got?

(At least the kid was paying attention in church. The Byzantine liturgy makes frequent references to angels, archangels, etc.)


The famous Protestant preacher Harold Camping predicted the world would end on May 11, 2011.  My mother thought he might be right but for the wrong reason.  I was awarded my doctorate in Eastern Christian Spirituality from Drew University a few days before.  She said, “You finally finished.  It is the end of the world!”


Heard in church when two altar servers were dueling  in a “light saber battle” with the long procession candles:

Deacon:  “Knock it off.  You are not Obi-Wan Kenobi and despite the black cassock, I am not Darth Vader!”


Heard in the pew at a Roman Catholic Church:

Parishioner 1: “Church is sure different since the Pandemic.  Someone gave me the Vulcan hand salute at the sign of peace.”

Parishioner 2: “ You were lucky you didn’t get the Vulcan neck pinch instead.”

Parishioner 3: “ You were lucky they didn’t give you another type of salute…”


Pastors needing greater contributions for their parish (actually heard from the pulpit):

“I don’t want to hear the jingle of the coin, I want to hear the rustle of the paper.”  (Obviously from a time when you couldn’t use Venmo or Paypal to make your Sunday contribution.)

“ I have good news and bad news.  We need funds for major repairs.  The good news is that the money is here.  The bad news is that it is in your pockets…”


Overheard at the church Bingo.  A parishioner from another parish who was a regular at the weekly Saturday Bingo, “I will never come here for Church every Sunday if they shut my parish down.”  I hope the irony didn’t escape you on that one….


A friend reading an old Mandrake the Magician novel: 

 Mandrake used the incantation “invovo legem magicarum” ( I invoke the laws of magic).  

Friend:  Isn’t that from the Latin Mass?

Me:  Comes right after “Dominus vobiscum…”


Latin Mass Traditionalist speaking to an Easern Catholic priest:

Traditionalist:  Beautiful service Father, but it really ought to be in Latin.”

Priest:  “You mean like the Latin Jesus spoke?”

Traditionalist:  Yes! Yes! That Latin!

Again I hope the irony isn’t lost on everyone…


Two people discussing the Mel Gibson movie the Passion of he Christ:

“Of course he didn’t speak Latin.  He spoke Ariminian. 

(Of course, they meant Aramaic. Jesus was obviously literate since the Gospels say he was chosen to read the sacred tests in the local synagogue. I am also inclined to say he also spoke at least some level of Greek since the town of Sepphoris was close to Nazareth. That is an entirely debatable point though.) 

If you hear any good ones, please send them my way…


Recently heard from the pulpit:

” A reading from the Book of Search.”

(I think he meant the Book of Sirach, one of the Wisdom books included in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles.

Also from the same pulpit:

“A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Theologians”.

I am pretty sure that would be the Thessalonians.

Of course, God punished me for these by making me proclaim the Genealogies of Jesus in the weeks before Christmas. Holy Smokes, those name…


PS. You did notice each of the jokes was separated by little plus signs that look like Byzantine crosses, right?

Who says going to church is not entertaining?

Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s