Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post is part of an ongoing series on Black church processionals in Africa, the Jamaica, the United States, and in Canada.
This pancocojams post showcases a video of the Abiezer Pentecostal church choir (Toronto, Canada) marching during a church offering while singing "singing "I'm Riding On The Hallelujah Train".
The song's lyrics are included in this post along with selected comments from this video's discussion thread.
The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, and spiritual purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to the composer/s of this song and thanks to the singers and musicians who performed this music. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S COMMENTS [updated June 30, 2018)
I have been interested in the subject of Black church processionals for some time. The earliest pancocojams posts on this topic is Part I of a four part 2011 pancocojams series on "Marching For Jesus" http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/11/marching-for-jesus-black-church.html.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/bethel-apostolic-church-jamaica-hold-on.html for a June 2018 post on this topic is entitled "Bethel Apostolic Church, Jamaica - "Hold On Out" (Church Processional Videos & Song Lyrics)". And click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/seven-videos-of-african-church.html">http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/seven-videos-of-african-church.htmlfor a June 2018 pancocojams post entitled "Seven Videos Of African Church Congregations' Offertory Processions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, & Kenya)".
I decided to search for YouTube videos on African church congregations' offertory processions as a result of reading several YouTube discussion thread comments that attributed the custom and/or styles of Black church offertory marches to Africa.
The result of my search certainly indicates that there are examples of African congregation offertory processions. However, I'm not sure whether Christian church offertory processions those customs originated in Africa and not. However, these dance/marches conform to the traditional high value that Africans place/d upon the performance of rhythmic movements and singing in all aspects of life, including religion. Furthermore, it seems to me that African church processionals may also be expressions of Africans love for pagentry.
Also, I believe that Black church offertory processions and other church processions in Africa may have also been influenced by the customs and particular styles of those processions- particularly the performance styles in the Pentecostal and Apostolic congregations in Jamaica.
Read my comments in the comment section for the pancocojams post entitled "Bethel Apostolic Church -Jamaica- "Hold On Out" post" whose link is given above. Those comments present the theories that circular dancing/marching in Black religious worship may have originated in Islamic "saut" ceremonies and/or the Bakongo (Central African) Cosmograph.
Any information and comments on the subject of Black church processions are welcome.
Also, if you know of other YouTube videos of Black offertory processions, please share the links to those videos in the comment section below. Thanks!
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Offering time @ Abiezer (View the choir in action)
1baw2009, Published on Apr 13, 2009
Abiezer Pentecostal Church: 96 Milvan Drive Toronto, Canada--It's offering time @ Abiezer (This is how we do it every Sunday.)
This is the only Black Canadian church processional video that I've found on YouTube. If you know of any other Black Canadian church processional videos, please share their links in the comment section below. Thanks!
LYRICS -I'M RIDING IN THE HALLELUJAH TRAIN
Dont you hear the bells are ringing?
Dont you hear the angels singing?
Its the glory, hallelujah, jubilee.
In the land of sweet forever, just beyond the shining river, they will ring the golden bells for you and me.
Im riding with Jesus, on the Alleluia Train
Im singing, Im shouting on the Alleluia Train
And when I reach the station, Heaven is my destination
Im riding with Jesus, on the Alleluia train
These lyrics were published by 1baw 2009 in the discussion thread for the video that is showcased in this post. According to one of his or her comments in this discussion, 1baw2009 is "not in any of the videos" [but does] "the recording, editing and posting" for the videos.
I spelled the word "Hallelujah" that way instead of "Alleluia" as that is the standard way that it is spelled in the United States.
This may not be the correct title for this song. If this song's title is different from the title that is given here, please share it in the comment section below. Thanks
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD.
These comments are given in relative chronological order with the oldest comments given first, except for replies. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.
1. TO ON, 2009
"the spirit of God reigns. a church that engages its people is a church that truly challenges every fiber of ones belief. praises is one such example. kudos to the choir. !!"
2. csneed02, 2010
""I need words." PLEASE
This is awesome! They dance like this is Africa when they give. Maybe if we do this in our Church the people will look forward to giving time."
3. 1baw2009, 2010
"I don't know if there is a defined theory behind this (marching at offering time). I need to think about it."
4. Tarahan Mackey, 2010
"I watch this EVERYDAY. I must be insane. lol"
5. 1baw2009, 2010
"@killertyann No, you are not insane. I am delighted that you and other viewers enjoy this. To be honest, initially, I debated whether or not to post this clip, because it is so different from the choir singing and from the Praise & Worship Service videos. Nonetheless, I am happy that I did post; this clip is well received. To God be the glory. Please continue praying for our young people that God will keep them saved and humble."
Notice that the commenter's name has changed. This probably was as a result of YouTube's push around that time to have commenters use full names instead of screen names.
6. Dannie Jackson, 2010
"I'm glad to see other apostolics online...im apart of the PAW"
"PAW" = Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
7. 1baw2009, 2010
"Yes, there are a few apostolics online. I have a few friends who fellowship with PAW; we share the same doctrine and beliefs. God bless you."
8. 1baw2009, 2010
"I don't know if there is a defined theory behind this (marching at offering time). I need to think about it."
9. leona foster, 2010
"I love the old time worship and the old old songs such as this one. If you want to reach the Lord, just sing the old hymms."
10. Cheryl Williams, 2010
"Marching up the King's Highway!!! Hallelujah!"
11. shadhom, 2010
"This is very unique, precise individual movements in time with the choir as a body, not for the faint of heart with a lot of physcial problems, although good excercise for some, while praising the Lord."
12. IsaiahRaymondDyer09, 2010
"OH YES MARCH & RIDE ZION! MARCH & RIDE! I LOVE this!!! GLORYYYYYYYYYYY!!"
13. lovejones238, 2011
"I must say I was like why am I watching this over & over then finally realized, I began to feel this just like the saints on the video were, as we say where I'm from, "they began to feel it" and so did I ..great post...I love the energy."
14. Marshalee Ricketts, 2011
"bLESS THE LORD AM RIDING WIT JESUS AN THE HALALUJAH TRAIN,THANK YOU JESUS HEAVEN WILL BE MY DESTINATION. THIS WHAT REALLY WORSHIP IS "
15. IsaiahRaymondDyer09, 2011
"LUJAH!! Mi luv dah wun deh!!! HALLELUJAH TRAIN!! GLORY!!"
16. Trey Cox, 2012
"I remember coming to Abiezer as a child and seeing the choir do this same march around! Simply Awesome, glory to God, and i love the songs, the choir rock is classic! Go Ahead!!!"
17. NYCsistahofvirtue, 2012
"march march march saints unward christian soldiers!"
18. precious lor, 2012
"Go Abiezer Choir. Let no one or nothing steal this joy that the Lord has given to you all. Love you all. Missionary Nichole at her best, go ahead praise Lady!!!"
19. John Blackwood, 2012
"This church must be Jamaican background!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could hear the bass player a little bit more thou! If I go to Canada.. I must find this church , where ever y'all are. GOD BLESS THIS CHURCH! AND THE CHOIR!!!!!!!"
20. abbi johnson, 2012
"praise jesus !!!!!!!!!!!! been listening to this clip for about a year no and it never fails to revive my spirit hallelujah "
21. Tonya Anderson, 2012
"This is what church is all about... giving GOD your all!!! I was truly blessed by this video."
22. desmarie spence, 2012
"This is how we do it in Holiness Born Again in Jamaica."
23. Mo W, 2013
"Its obvious that this church is jamaican .. The TRAIN!!!!!!!! HALELLUJAH TRAIN iM RUNNING JESUS ON THE HALELLUJAH TRAIN !!!!!"
24. Tiffi, 2013
"I feel the Jamaican in this church"
25. Sashagaye mannings, 2013
"i have never seen such a march i loooooooveeeeeee it
I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this marching!"
26. MJQ7688, 2013
"I was just thinking that about this church being Jamaican! They got DOWN!"
27.Margaret Mcpherson, 2016
"these saints just know how to trample on them serpents and demons, the action is so important keep on fighting and trampling them forces"
28. ddoddy76, 2016
"ok no offense .....but what was the point?"
29. Miya Henry, 2016
"They make it seems they are marching into heaven... must pentecostal church do this to have a mind set of how they will be like in heaven. I don't know if I'm right but it's my idea"
30. Roy Pritchard, 2016
"Yes, Miya Henry. Amen! Church of GOD march forward in the power of THE HOLY GHOST. Amen! Thank YOU, JESUS 😃"
31. Makita Wilson, 2017
"Hey Ms.Henry you are 100% correct..the act of them physically marching signifies unity and strength in Jesus' name. The way they marched with such precision and power was the anointing of God on them. People don't always have to run around and speak in tongues lol..you can concentrate that power into something else"
32. KRISSY MCINTOSH, 2017
"This church reminds me of my church, keep praising God. Im talking about Bethel Born Again Apostolic on Oakland Road in Jamaica, thats how we worship on a Sunday morning. Love u Pastor Yvonne Codner and Bishop Barracks"
33. Vito Motola, 2017
"giving a offering is a type of worship to Jesus."
34. Mo W, 2018
"I think churcejs need to go back to the way we used to worship just like this. Marching and all why not? You can dance for the world you can dance for God. I get such a great vibe from this all these yrs later"
35. Lisa Jackson, 2018
"What happened to church..."
36. Jessica Woods, 2018
"Lisa Jackson Nothing... Listen to the music it's Jamaican. African churches also worship in a similar manner. I think Black Americans would do close to the same if we didn't integrated."
37. ItsKayTho, 2018
"I remember a church I attended, the whole choir would come down circle the church, turn around and go back up the offering aisle. & they took their time too! I love this choir’s energy"
28. after7pm, 2018
"Y'all Better MARCH ON IN..💘"
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