On Sunday, juneteenth coloring will be remembered and celebrated by people who go to church. During the day, there will be colorful parades, music festivals from coast to coast, trips to historical sites, big community gatherings, team sports, and a lot of barbecue.
But many people will start the day with worship, which has been a tradition for a long time.
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These lyrics from “The Song of the Contrabands: O Let My People Go” will have a special meaning at services this Sunday because they capture the spirit of the holiday juneteenth coloring. It’s a Bible story about Israel’s life, from when they were slaves in Egypt to when they left. The African slaves could relate to the story. This hymn is still sung today to remember what it was like to be a slave and to keep fighting for equality and justice.
“Gospel music has been a great comfort to the Black community juneteenth coloring,” says Tye Tribbett, a gospel singer who will be performing at Juneteenth Unityfest 2022 on Sunday. “Its ability to use hope, aspiration, and faith to give courage over fear during some of the hardest times in our culture’s history is part of our and the music’s legacy.”
Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church members in Galveston, Texas, the birthplace of Juneteenth, will start their service at 11 a.m. and end the day with a freedom march. This was one of the places where slaves heard these words from the original Juneteenth order, General Order No. 3, on June 19, 1865: “The people of Texas are told that all slaves are free, according to a proclamation from the Executive of the United States.”
Juneteenth is also called Emancipation Day juneteenth coloring, Freedom Day, and Jubilee Day. Since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was made a federal holiday in 1983, this is the most recent holiday to be made one. Because it falls on “The Lord’s Day,” pastors will give their congregations a special message.
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Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas says that remembering and learning from the past is the only way to protect the history of this country.
“Even though Juneteenth celebrations started in Texas, it’s important that we all remember that when freedom and justice are delayed or denied, it hurts future generations,” he says.
Jakes says, “As we all take a moment to remember and learn from the delayed freedoms of our ancestors, we can’t let the same systems keep doing wrong.”
During their service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, people will be happy and sad. Anna Deavere Smith, an actress and playwright, will give them their morning message.
“Her deep knowledge of the “school-to-prison pipeline” and stories about it, along with her strong Episcopal faith, will help us do the work of emancipation today. We call this “End Slavery for Good,” because we want to make sure that no one is ever forced to be a slave, even as a punishment for a crime “Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi says so.
The Rev. Joshua Lawrence Lazard, who is an associate pastor at Church of the Covenant, a mostly white church in Boston, plans to take the title of his sermon from the book You Mean It or You Don’t by James Baldwin.
Lazard says, “I will remind you that Christians have a duty to live out the ideas of liberation and freedom.” “Our faith tells us that we must work to right the wrongs caused by America’s original sin, which was slavery.”
Historians say that many American institutions helped to justify slavery and white supremacy. One of these institutions was the Christian church, which used the Bible to explain why African Americans should be slaves.
Lisa Fields, a Christian apologist, says in the documentary Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom that it doesn’t surprise her that the first legal institution the freed slaves of Galveston set up was a church. Fields says, “They thought that God, not Abraham Lincoln or their slave masters, would set them free.”
This makes me think of “We Have Come This Far by Faith,” a popular hymn written by Albert A. Goodson:
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