Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands

"Receive the Holy Spirit"

John 20:22
Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24; 1Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Sermon Week/Year

Second Sunday of Easter, A

Hand clapping may be the most common sound we humans make without using our vocal cords. Surprisingly, according to researchers, the clap of an individual has less to do with one’s opinion of a performance and is instead motivated by a feeling of belonging as we applaud with others. As far back as the 6th century BC, it was customary for audiences to clap in approval of their leaders, a concession made when there were too many people to greet individually. And this is the genesis for our modern-day custom of applause – to express a unified form of admiration for a speech or performance.

With that bit of history out of the way, let’s turn our attention to that all-important question: at a concert, should you clap on the first and third beat or the second and fourth? And the answer is, “it depends.” Of course, you should clap “how you feel,” but beats two and four work best for many forms of music,…

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