I have such vivid memories of being a young girl in Cincinnati, preparing with my family to attend Watch Night Service on News Years Eve! Our churches at the time — Zion Temple First Pentecostal in Avondale (Elder Jasper PHILLIPS) and in later years, Tryed Stone Missionary Baptist Church in Bond Hill (Rev. Anderson CULBRETH).
I remember Watch Service as being celebratory, lively and SAFE! Where celebration and praise, were often followed by good food and fellowship! It was the selective choice of those opting for church family over strangers to welcome in a New Year!
Til this day, there’s only been 1 time in my adult life I’ve brought a New Year in at a party vs. being surrounded by family at home — and even then I still remember feeling out of sorts!:)
Until today, I had NO idea that the origin of Watch Service started with the Slaves, but it doesn’t surprise me! So much of what we define as cultural practice are artifacts of our Ancestors! Here’s what I learned via a Christian Leaders News post — New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service: Slaves Started it.
At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1862, the new year was ushered in … and at 12:01 AM, on January 1, 1863,
ALL SLAVES IN THE CONFEDERATE STATES WERE DECLARED LEGALLY FREE.
Many of you who live or grew up in Black […]