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Holiday Traditions in the Black Church

Holiday Traditions in the Black Church

Growing up in the church, I can always remember the festive events that I participated in for various holidays and seasonsonal events. Never once did I question the events our Church had because they were traditional events that I always attended since I was a young child. So once I was able to participate in the events, I began to grasp an understanding of exactly what tradition was and once I got older I realized that Black Churches were rooted in rituals and traditions.  Despite church settings being slightly different this year and many churches tailoring traditions, the Black Church Holiday Traditions are still what we look forward to and hope to participate in while following COVID precautions this year. 

When entering a Black Church during the holidays, one can expect to see a Nativity Scene placed in front of the altar. The nativity scene represents the birth of Jesus and displaying this scene in Black churches during the holiday helps remind us of the reason for celebrating this time of year. It’s A Black Thang even offers Black Nativity Scenes that reflect our heritage and race and has a plethora of scenes that can be used specifically in Black Churches.  

Attire for the holiday season is slightly more fancy when the holiday season comes around. Church lady hats become bigger and men suits become sleeker; while little girl socks are more frilly and little boys bowties are tied perfectly. In Black Churches we do have the saying “come as you are,” however during the holiday season Black Church Attire is truly Southern and stunning. Some may call it bizarre or think it’s lavish, but we just see tradition as our “Sunday’s Best.”  

Kids Church Tradition

Kids are not left out of Black Church Tradition because they enhance the way African American church functions. I remember as a child learning bible scriptures, poems, and scripted plays and rehearsing faithfully to present to my church family. This tradition is still one that I looked forward to when attending church. During the holidays, the nativity scene is oftentimes acted out by children in the church and some are even assigned to recite a poem for the congregation. Reenactments and recitings of poems and scriptures is pretty much a ritual in the African American church community. 

Each of these Black Church Holiday traditions can expect to be seen this holiday season. Maybe with a few Covid precautionary changes, black churches will still keep the tradition alive and hopefully next year the tradition will continue. 

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