Watch Night. An anniversary. Pray and Resolve.

Happy New Year, my friends! Watch Night is an African American Lowcountry tradition, celebrating the 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation this year.

Watch Night in Charleston South Carolina , click this link to read a beautifully written piece by Harriet McLeod.

Trees, Edisto Island, SC©'10 Charlotte Hutson Wrenn

photo by C. Hutson © 2012

Wikipedia says that “A watchnight service is a late-night Christian church service. In many different Christian traditions, a watchnight service is held late on New Year’s Eve, and ends after midnight. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving. The services often include singing, praying, exhorting, and preaching.”

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 United Methodist Book of Worship.

In the Church of Scotland, and Presbyterianism in the U.S., the Watchnight service is a popular ceremony marking the beginning of Christmas Day. In Anglican or Roman Catholic churches, this ceremony is often replicated in the form of a Midnight Mass or Eucharist.

Watchnight service has added significance and history in the African-American community in the United States, since many slaves were said to have gathered in churches on New Year’s Eve, in 1862, to await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863.

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in Arts & Culture, Charleston South Carolina, Gullah, religion, spirituality
2 comments on “Watch Night. An anniversary. Pray and Resolve.
  1. michael hutson says:

    thanks Charlotte! as you know we come from a line of Presbyterian minister(and lawyers) but i’m afraid for my part you’d have to leave Mr.Lincoln out of it- George Washington is the greatest President and for me always will be!

    -michael

    • Thanks for the visit, cousin Michael! Have you seen the new Lincoln film? I have not yet. And yes, there is a great story of our ancestor Col. Ann Hawkes Hay who was on George Washington’s staff. Do you know that one?

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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