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Sat, Dec 31

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Morning Glory Homestead Farm

Watch Night Under the Oaks

Watch Night service is rooted in African American religious traditions. During the first Watch Night, many enslaved African Americans gathered to pray, worship, sing, and dance. They convened at praise houses on plantations or secretly gathered in the woods, where they practiced their faith. 1

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Watch Night Under the Oaks
Watch Night Under the Oaks

Time & Location

Dec 31, 2022, 10:30 PM – Jan 01, 2023, 12:30 AM

Morning Glory Homestead Farm, 42 Robert And Clara Trail, St Helena Island, SC 29920, USA

About the event

Watch Night service is rooted in African American religious traditions. During the first Watch Night, many enslaved African Americans gathered to pray, worship, sing, and dance.  They convened at praise houses on plantations or secretly gathered in the woods, where they practiced their faith under the protective cover of the trees and brush in what became known as “hush harbors.”

“The Hush Arbor location would change to prevent capture, severe punishment or death for those who attended.  The call to worship was a coded message between enslaved persons telling of an upcoming service.  They found freedom and release from the dehumanizing physical and mental cruelty of slave life through worship and fellowship.  The Hush Arbor gathering provided spiritual and emotional renewal and affirmed the humanity of those enslaved.  So important were these services that many who attended would worship all night only to return to the fields at sunrise.” https://ngbmcrumc.org/hush-arbor

Initially meant to welcome emancipation, today the Watch Night service encourages reflection on the history of slavery and freedom, as well as reflection on the past year—both its trials and triumphs—while also anticipating what the new year will have in store. It is a continuation of generations of faith that freedom and renewal lie ahead.  The Historical Legacy of Watch Night https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/historical-legacy-watch-night

All Nations Community Church is hosting Watch Night Under the Oaks.  

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