|Russian Orthodox Church in New Year’s celebration|
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, we are now in a brand new year and may our dear sweet Lord Jesus bless you all thought the year. Many will usher the new year in with late night celebrations, playing games, dancing and singing.
For many Christians including Baptists, Methodists, and Pentecostals, the tradition of watch night services are held late on New year’s Eve, ending after midnight. This is a time for preparing for the new year ahead by praying, resolving worshiping, exhorting, preaching, singing and confessions.So how did this all start?
“Following the lead of a small Christian denomination called the Moravians in what is now the Czech Republic that began having "watch" services in 1733, the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, originated watch night services in 1740, sometimes calling them Covenant Renewal Services. The services provided Methodist Christians with a godly alternative to times of drunken revelry, such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Today, a Methodist watchnight service includes singing, spontaneous prayers and testimonials, as well as scripture readings; the liturgy for this service is found in The UnitedMethodist Book of Worship.”
The Watchnight service is also popular in the Church of Scotland. But it actually begins on Christmas day. Many other Catholic churches call this the Midnight Mass. This Midnight Mass is often replicated in Anglican and Roman Catholic churches on New Year’s eve.
For African-American churches, the Watchnight service has a far greater significance. History of the African-American community in the United States tells us that many slaves gathered in churches on New Year’s Eve in 1862 to anxiously await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863.
In ancient Christendom, the Gregorian Calendar was developed and New Year’s day traditionally became the
Feast of the Circumcision of Christ. Many anglican Churches and the Lutheran Church still observed this tradition.
|Catholic church choir room|
I’m sure there are many other new years celebrations and observations that I haven’t written about. But I hope these few give you an idea
of how some Christians have spent their time ushering in the New Year.
|Ancient painting depiction the circumcision of Christ|
Until next time, God bless and take care,