Wisdom and Youth
Wisdom and Youth

Black History Month is during the month of February, but  Black History is something that is happening in America today.  Regardless of your political preferences, this is the first time an African American is running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.  History is important to us all regardless of when it happened.  It was not taught in public schools many years ago and some schools still do not offer classes in African American History.  This page will serve the purpose of providing a resource for our family to learn more about the significant contributiions African Americans have made and are currently making in this country.  Please share this with other family members and make suggestions for inclusion of other sites that will help serve this purpose.


November 3, 2011

Watch Night Service

Watch Night Service



WATCH NIGHT SERVICES

Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve.
The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. To 10 p.m. And ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.
Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event.. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service -- made a bit more Afro centric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church. Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs.
In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, there is a reason for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations.

The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free .

When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year.

It's been 145 years since that first Freedom's Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate
"how we got over."

PS- Pass this information on so we can educate more of our Family and Friends about our History!





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