As i entered the St. Kizito Catholic Church premises at Nima, a suburb of Accra, Ghana’s capital city, i could not ignore the presence of several people who have come there for the watch night service to climax the end of the year, 2014 and usher in the New Year, 2015. Several categories of people are easily noticed on such a night.
The first category of people who attend such services are those who come to church only on the last day of the year. They give excuses of being very busy throughout the year therefore find it difficult to come to church on Sundays. They are busily making money and only come to church on the last day of the year to receive God’s blessing for the New Year.
Another category of people are those who come to church on that night only to show off their clothes and nice shoes. Some of them wait till everyone is seated before they enter the chapel, making noise with their new shoes and catching all the attention that they want. Such people can be seen getting up every ten minutes and walking out for no apparent reasons. They just want to flaunt their new dresses and shoes for people to notice them.
Another category of people are those who have been going to church regularly throughout the year and will like to come early to take the front row seats in the chapel so that they will be noticed by the officiating priests or pastors. They are the ones who sing the loudest, pray the loudest and shout the loudest. In fact, they are easily noticed by the priests or pastors.
Then here comes those who might be visiting the church for the first time due to they spending the day away from their homes far away. Thus, they end up worshipping with a branch of their church where ever they find themselves on the last night of the year. These people normally take the back row seats and quickly leave the church premises immediately the service ends.
Finally, we have the category of people who come to the watch night service with itchy fingers. They are always on the look out for a bag, phone or any item left by some of the church members during offertory. They quickly pick them up and vanish from the scene. You might also want to put your hands in your pockets to secure your money or phone the moment the service ends. Because, these people can easily take advantage of the milling crowd and empty your pockets for you.
To make it more interesting, some people also come to church just ten or five minutes to midnight, the moment they hear the sound of the midnight bell, they make the sign of the cross and leave the church premises only to end up at any of the popular drinking bars or entertainment centers in town. They party till the wee hours of the day just to usher in the New Year.
But i hope we cant also ignore the various catchy and interesting bill boards advertising the various watch night services in most of our cities and towns. It seems like a competition among the different churches.
These categories of people are the same people who will ask God to forgive them their sins and that they will usher in the New Year with a clean heart, mind and spirit. But what do we see, they go back to their various work places and the corrupt and other social vices go on as usual. Happy New Year to you all.