Worship Resources

 
       


EMANCIPATION BY THOMAS NAST

WATCH NIGHT

MUSIC & WORSHIP RESOURCES

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The African American Lectionary Liturgists

Worship Planning Notes

Watch Night took on greater meaning in the 1800s as African American-led congregations of enslaved persons in slave-holding states awaited the declaration that they had been declared legally free by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

Though long legally free, African Americans in America are still faced with so many inequitably applied laws that seek to quench their freedom to own homes, gain a good education, gain decent employment, and live unfettered from unwarranted and illegal arrests, searches, and seizures. As the country counts down to 2012, the outlook is bleak for too many. From poverty to violence to massive incarceration, to medical conditions that have reached staggering numbers, the African American community sits this year awaiting freedom again. However, no proclamation is being declared that legally or personally will grant it.

With such dire circumstances as our worship backdrop for this Watch Night, the task of worship leaders is critical. Yes, as always, we are to offer thanks and praise to God for life because where there is life there is always hope. That said, this year we need to lead worshippers in a service that will do more than allow them cathartic release from the hellish moments of 2011, although the importance of doing this is not to be underestimated. However, now more than ever we need to provide worship services that help our people return in robust ways to the God of our fore parents and the resolve of our fore parents who longed not only for physical freedom but for the right to live healthy, safe, and economically dignified lives.

They fought through prayer, through singing Zionís songs as they lived through hell, and through forming organizations and making commitments to living as the free creatures that they knew God created them to be. Let us not design weak services that lose their power as our people exit our sanctuaries at 12:01 a.m.; instead, we must design services that will allow commitments to total freedom to linger long into the difficult days ahead.

Setting a Mood of Hopefulness and Resolve

  • As persons enter your service, make sure that there is music playing, and perhaps a video if possible, that speaks to our people being ďovercomers.Ē You know the issues that are currently affecting your congregation. Choose music and videos accordingly.

  • Throughout the worship service, have persons who are participating in it give testimonies of overcoming.

  • Include all age groups and the disabled in your Watch Night services.

  • If your pastor and church agree, this night would be a good night to announce a major church initiative such as an employment bank, a food bank, a rent or mortgage assistance program, a home-work tutoring program, a college tuition assistance program, a program to assist seniors in purchasing medicine, or a program to assist those who are newly released from jail or prison. Remember, you can always do programs in collaboration with other churches and/or social service agencies in your community. Begin planning early to make this initiative a reality. Even if you do not have all the details thoroughly worked out before Watch Night, make the commitment and the announcement anyway and be BIG and BOLD about it. Print the information in the order of worship. Have announcement cards and even a prayer to bless the initiative, and announce it on the Facebook page of all the members of your church and ask them to tweet about it.

1. Litany

Watch Night

Male Lay Member: We gather with quiet invocations and fervent shouts in prayer houses built by our ancestors. It is the anniversary of freedomís eve and the beginning of a new year, and our voices ache with jubilee songs; our feet are moving, our bodies are possessed, and our spirits are remembering.

Female Lay Member: It was on New Yearís Day long ago, when enslaved Africans, their children, and their childrenís children became irrevocably free. On the first day of January, A.D. 1863 all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of the state were freed.

Youth Male: The freedom words that were woven into sweet-grass baskets, hidden in the words of Negro Spirituals, preached aloud at campground meetings, sung to black babies in sleepy-time songs, would become the law of the land.

Congregation: Alleluia! Praise the Lord.

Youth Female: After 100 days of waiting, three years of a bloody civil war, and more than two centuries of servitude, in answer to the petitionerís plea: ďHow long my Lord, how long; truly there was a reason why,Ē freedomís eve became freedomís day.

Choir Member: So many were gathered on that New Yearís Eve in 1862. Some had skin as dark as the midnight sky, some as pale as the sand on a sea-island beach; truly there was a reason why.

Deacon/Elder: Embraced by traditions from across the seas, our ancestors had the griots tell those wonderful stories of home. Truly, there was a reason why they created drum sounds with their feet, their handclaps, and their rhythm sticks that spoke of a future free of shackles. They waited and watched Ďtil the morning came. They trusted the words of Lincoln when he declared that slaves: SHALL BE THEN, HENCEFORWARD, AND FOREVER FREE.

Minister: They believed the words of Leviticus: It shall be a jubilee for you. And each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. But could they really have faith (this time) that the righteous would truly be blessed? For the comings and the goings of life can never be foretold.

Congregation: How long, my Lord, how long?

Female Lay Member: There was no word at midnight nor at daybreak. But past dusk on New Yearís Day came a message tapped across telegraph wires and spoken at great mass meetings: The proclamation had been signed, Emancipation is forever, Godís chosen would be free

Male Lay Member: It was written: Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by the constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

Youth Male: Today more than a century later, in churches, chapels, and houses of prayer, on the anniversary of freedomís eve on Watch Night, we gather to welcome yet another year, and to bring jubilee while waiting anew for the midnight hour.

Congregation: With whispers and shouts, singing and silence, libations and thanksgiving, remembering that we were not always free.

2. Hymns and Congregational Songs
(a) O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink. By William H. Bathurst. Arr. by Nathan Carter. Tune, (MONOAH).

(b) Standing on the Promises. Text and Tune, (PROMISES), by E. Kelso Carter

(c) I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. Text and Tune, (TOMORROW), by Ira Stamphill

3. Spirituals or Traditional Songs
(a) Donít Let Nobody Turn You Around. Arr. by Lena I. McLin

(b) Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning. Arr. by Andrae Thomas

(c) Nobody Knows the Trouble Iíve Seen. Spiritual

(d) Thereís a Bright Side Somewhere. By Margaret Jenkins

4. Songs for Praise Teams
(a) Watch Ye Therefore. By Wanda Nero Butler

(b) Hold to Godís Unchanging Hand. Text and Tune, (UNCHANGING HAND), by Jennie Wilson

(c) When I Rose This Morning. Traditional

5. Modern Songs
(a) Thereís a King in You. By Donald Lawrence See Video

(b) Broken but Iím Healed. By Byron Cage

(c) Heís Preparing Me. By Darryl Coley

(d) Iíve Seen Him Work. By Virgil Straford and Benita Washington

6. Liturgical Dance and Mime Ministry Music
(a) Dance, Dance, Dance. By Sharon Queen Campbell, Marva Green, and Virgil Straford

(b) Dream. By Patricia Cathcart Andress

(c) Stand. By Donnie McClurkin

7. Offertory Song or Instrumental
(a) I Donít Feel No Ways Tired. By Curtis Burrell

(b) For Every Mountain. By Kurt Carr

(c) Grateful. By Percy Brady

8. Song or Instrumental for the Period of Prayer
(a) Things Will Be Better Next Year. By Eddie A. Robinson

(b) Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place. By Lanny Wolfe

(c) Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah (Bread of Heaven). Traditional

(d) I Repent. By S. Green, P. Nash, and D. Noel

9. Sermonic Selection
(a) I Need Thee Every Hour. By Annie Hawkes. Tune by Robert Lowry

(b) In the Waiting. By Dave Clark, Don Koch, and Greg Long

(c) Heíll Come Through. By Cynthia Brewer

10. Invitational Song or Instrumental
(a) Yesterday, Today, Forever. By Albert B. Simpson and J.H. Burke

(b) Power of a Dream. By Wintley Phipps

(c) Itís Time to Make a Change. By Jay Terrell and Maurice Watson

11. Benediction Song
(a) We Shall Overcome. Traditional. Tune, (WE SHALL OVERCOME).

(b) God Be with You ĎTil We Meet Again. By Jeremiah E. Rankin and William Tomer

(c) Hold to Godís Unchanging Hand. By Jennie Wilson; refrain by F.I. Eiland

12. Other Recommendations
At some point during your service use the Lectionary Year One Watch Night worship video, which is downloadable. This will remind your congregation that we have faced hardships before and overcome. Go the Lectionary archive and type in the words Watch Night.


Cites and Additional Information for Music and Material Listed

1. Litany Ė ďWatch NightĒ by Karen Hurst, Philadelphia, PA. Used with permission.

2. Hymns and Congregational Songs
(a) O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink. By William H. Bathurst. Arr. by Nathan Carter. Tune, (MONOAH).
Location:
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: 1-800-442-1358

Online location: www.giamusic.com

(b) Standing on the Promises. Text and Tune, (PROMISES), by E. Kelso Carter
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2001. #104

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal: Official Hymnal of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Charlotte, NC: A.M.E. Zion Pub. House, 1996. #260.

The New National Baptist Hymnal 21st Century Edition. Nashville, TN: Triad Publications, 2005. #257

Church of God in Christ. Yes, Lord! Church of God in Christ Hymnal. Memphis, TN:
Church of God in Christ Pub. Board in association with the Benson Co., 1982. #105

(c) I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. Text and Tune, (TOMORROW), by Ira Stamphill
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #415

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Hymnal. #187

The New National Baptist Hymnal 21st Century Edition. #281

Yes, Lord! Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #124

3. Spirituals or Traditional Songs
(a) Donít Let Nobody Turn You Around. Arr. by Lena I. McLin
Location:
J. W. Pepper & Sons Incorporated
2480 Industrial Boulevard
Paoli, PA 19301
Phone: 1-800-345-6296

Online location: www.jwpepper.com

(b) Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning. Arr. by Andrae Thomas
Location:
J. W. Pepper & Sons Incorporated
Phone 1-800-345-6296
Online location: www.jwpepper.com

(c) Nobody Knows the Trouble Iíve Seen. Spiritual
Location:
Harris, Larnelle/Various artists. SpiritualsóSongs for the Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Music, 2004.

(d) Thereís a Bright Side Somewhere. By Margaret Jenkins
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #411

4. Songs for Praise Teams
(a) Watch Ye Therefore. By Wanda Nero Butler
Location:
Just as I Am/New Born Soul. Chicago, IL: Sounds of Gospel Records, 2006.

(b) Hold to Godís Unchanging Hand. Text and Tune, (UNCHANGING HAND), by Jennie Wilson
Location:
Hall, James. James HallóLive from New York. Valley Village, CA: Music Blend/Big Fish Media, 2006.

(c) When I Rose This Morning. Traditional
Location:
Mississippi Mass Choir. Iíll See You in the Rapture. Malaco Records, 1996.

5. Modern Songs
(a) Thereís a King in You. By Donald Lawrence
Location:
Lawrence, Donald & Co. The Law of Confession. New York, NY: Zomba, 2009.

(b) Broken but Iím Healed. By Byron Cage
Location:
An Invitation to Worship. Inglewood, CA: Gospocentric, 2005.

(c) Heís Preparing Me. Darryl Coley
Location:
Reverend Ernest Davis Jr. and the Wilmington/Chester Mass Choir featuring Darryl Coley. Heís Preparing Me. Atlanta, GA: Atlanta, Intl., 1991.

(d) Iíve Seen Him Work. By Virgil Straford and Benita Washington
Location:
Washington, Benita. Renaissance (Live). Antioch, TN: Redapple Seed Entertainment, 2007.

6. Liturgical Dance and Mime Ministry Music
(a) Dance, Dance, Dance. By Sharon Queen Campbell, Marva Green, and Virgil Straford
Location:
Judah Generation. Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III Presents Judah Generation. Nashville, TN: J3 Records/Light Records, 2006.

(b) Dream. By Patricia Cathcart Andress
Location:
Tuck and Patti. Dream. New York, NY: BMG Entertainment, 1991.

(c) Stand. By Donnie McClurkin
Location:
Donnie McClurkin. New York, NY: Word Entertainment, 1996.

7. Offertory Song or Instrumental
(a) I Donít Feel No Ways Tired. By Curtis Burrell
Location:
Cleveland, James. I Donít Feel No Ways Tired. Jackson, MS: 601 Records, 1991/1998.

African American Heritage Hymnal. #414

Lead Me, Guide Me: The African American Catholic Hymnal. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 1987. #159

Yes, Lord! Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #364

(b) For Every Mountain. By Kurt Carr
Location:
The Very Best of Kurt Carr. Palo Alto, CA: Playlist, 2009.

(c) Grateful. By Percy Brady
Location:
Morton, Paul S., Sr. and Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Crescent City Fire. Nashville, TN: Light Records/Tehilah Music Group, 2008.

8. Song or Instrumental for the Period of Prayer
(a) Things Will Be Better Next Year. By Eddie A. Robinson
Location:
Ilberbea Publishing
Phone: 954-724-3272

(b) Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place. By Lanny Wolfe
Location:
The New National Baptist Hymnal 21st Century Edition. #129

Yes, Lord! Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #188

(c) Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (Bread of Heaven). Text by William Williams. Tune by Peter Williams
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #139

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal. #52 and #53

Yes, Lord. Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #31

(d) I Repent. By S. Green, P. Nash, and D. Noel
Location:
Hobbs, Darwin. Free. Indianapolis, IN: Tyscot Records, 2008.

9. Sermonic Selection
(a) I Need Thee Every Hour. By Annie Hawkes. Tune by Robert Lowry
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #451

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal. #327

Yes, Lord. Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #305

(b) In the Waiting. By Dave Clark, Don Koch, and Greg Long
Location:
Yohe, Vicki. I Just Want You. Brentwood, TN: Wellspring/Pure Springs Gospel, 2003.

(c) Heíll Come Through. By Cynthia Brewer
Location:
Gospel Music Workshop of America. Torchbearers of Excellence. Atlanta, GA: Verity Records, 1995.

10. Invitational Song or Instrumental
(a) Yesterday, Today, Forever. By Albert B. Simpson and J.H. Burke
Location:
Yes, Lord! Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #462

(b) Power of a Dream. By Wintley Phipps
Location:
Power of a Dream. Palm Bay, FL: Coral, 1995.

(c) Itís Time to Make a Change. By Jay Terrell and Maurice Watson
Location:
Beulahland Bible Church
1010 Newberg Avenue
Macon, GA 31206
Phone: 478-784-1555

11. Benediction Song
(a) We Shall Overcome. Traditional. Tune, (WE SHALL OVERCOME).
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #542

(b) God Be with You ĎTil We Meet Again. By Jeremiah E. Rankin and William Tomer
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #634

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal. #45

Yes, Lord. Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #86

(c) Hold to Godís Unchanging Hand. By Jennie Wilson; refrain by F.I. Eiland
Location:
African American Heritage Hymnal. #404

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal. #513

Yes, Lord Church of God in Christ Hymnal. #406
     

 

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