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Watch Night Service
December 31, 2017 @ 10:00 pm
According to Metropolitan AME Church, the Watch Night Service reportedly began with the Moravians in Germany and was picked up by John Wesley who incorporated the service in Methodism. In England, Europe, and in America, the early Methodists and other religious groups also observed Watch Night services; the Moravians certainly did. The noted homiletician, Charles H. Spurgeon, a Baptist preacher, preached a Watch Night Sermon on December 31, 1855 and took his text from Lamentations 2:19.
In America, among the earliest Watch Night services was probably held at St. George Church in Philadelphia where Richard Allen was a member. To say that the Watch Meeting services began in the mid-1800 is a myth. It is certain that Richard Allen celebrated Watch Meeting night services at St. George Church and it would follow that Watch Meeting Night services were held at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.
Originally, Watch Night services were held to deepen the spiritual life of the Methodists and Wesley, himself explained in his Journal that Watch Night services in England were generally held between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on the Friday nearest the full moon “so that participants walked safely home through moonlit streets.” In 19th Century Philadelphia the Methodists continued the practice of watch-night services on New Year’s Eve. The newly-formed AME Church members, wherever AME Churches were located, celebrated Watch Meeting Night services.
Join us as we offer our thanks to the Lord for bringing us safely through 2017 and celebrate and thank Him for allowing us to see another year!
The announcements and order for floral arrangements for our worship guide should be in the church office by Wednesday before 12Noon each week. Email your announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.