Do You Know The History Of Watch Night Services?
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History Of Watch Night Services:
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.
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watch night services, black churches, african american, churches,Freedoms eve, end of slavery
One of the earliest recorded Watchnight Service was held by the Moravians in Czechoslovakia and was later brought to the colonies by the Moravians (Unitas Fratrum). Many Moravian Churches still observe Watchnight. John Wesley, who had close ties to the Moravians, adopted the practice for the Methodist Church. The service took on a different significance in the black Methodist churches. Here’s a link: http://avengingtheancestors.com/releases/r123109.htm