I remember, growing up, my younger sister had a book of humorous rhymes, entitled A Bad Case of the Giggles. We very much enjoyed the funny little quips it had. The conclusion of tonight’s vespers (Evening Prayer), believe it or not, brought the title of anthology to mind.
You see, during Easter week, the flow of our prayers is a little different. In place of the normal responsory after the readings, we say or sing: “This is the day the Lord has made…” A little confusion caused the person leading Vespers to conclude in a very unconventional manner (using this responsory instead of the conclusion for Vespers). The sequence of events caused the corners of my mouth to curve upward a little at first, and a bit of a chuckle. Then, when she interjected the omitted concluding formulary in between our supplemental prayers after vespers, the giggle snuck out; it could hardly be stopped. This inspired stiffled giggles from another pray-er. Another gentleman even caught on. We certainly didn’t mean to be irreverent – It’s a good thing we have the fine example of St. Philip Neri to fall back on (He is known for his joyfulness and love of humor.)
I suppose, if giggles have to escape in chapel, Monday within the octave of Easter is as good a time as any.