Monday, January 5, 2009
Do you know how watch night service came about? I found an email that was sent to me on December 25, 2004, entitled "African American Watch Night Service." In the email, it was noted that watch night seems to be an African American "thing" on New Year's Eve. Apparently White Christian churches do not include watch night services on their calendars, preferring to focus more on Christmas eve programs. For those who don't know, watch night services can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as Freedom's Eve. Blacks were anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had actually become law. Then at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 1863,all slaves in the Confederate states were declared legally free. Of course this brought about cheering, singing, celebration, and praising God. Since then Blacks have thanked God at these services annually. Nothing wrong with celebrating and being thankful to see another year. At least get the history behind it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!