Call for the Wailing Women: Origins of Wailing

Call for the Wailing Women: Origins of Wailing


Come Join Our Wailing Women Workshop & Prayer

Saturday, January 13th from 8:00-9:30am ET


Jeremiah 9:17-18 – "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, consider ye and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters."

Women who will stand in the gap for their families, cities, nations and continents so that God's ultimate purpose of reconciling and restoring the "old waste places" are the wailing women needed in this present time, considering the condition of our world.

In the ancient Near East there was a profession that was passed down from woman to woman. The trainees were called ‘daughters’ and the guild directors were called ‘mothers,’ just as the disciples of prophets were called their children. It was the mourner’s guild, called ‘the keening (wail in grief for a dead person) or weeping women’ in Jeremiah. They were trained and paid to perform the public ritual of funerals; they were funeral directors and grief counselors. These women walked with the body, wept and wailed with the family, and sang and chanted hymns, psalms and laments composed for the occasion.

Wailing carried a call and response. The lead wailer would begin the wail and the rest would respond. They used instruments, songs and dances along with their voices. The length of time the professional wailers were used depended on the wealth and status of the family.


Women played a vital role in their community. When there was a tragedy, they would lead the people into public grieving and mourning. Grieving was a communal activity and the wailing women led their communities in shared expressions of grief. Some guilds included musicians, both male and female, but the professional mourners were usually women.


Wailing women played a therapeutic role in their communities. They did not allow others to grieve alone, but shared their pain by crying with them. They created space and community for the family and friends to grieve without embarrassment, and never be alone.


The wailing women in Jeremiah chapter nine also played a great role in that they were the few who listened to Jeremiah and took the dire situation of their nation seriously by beginning to wail and lament for the tragedy about to befall Israel.


What shall we do when death is in the house? The answer is simple: we are called to lament. Even Jesus said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Cry to heaven, weep and wail (Luke 23:28).


Women of God, we need to weep for ourselves. We need to weep for our daughters. We need to weep for our sons. We need to weep for our cities. We need to weep for our leaders. We need to weep for our preachers. We need to weep for our teachers. We need to weep for our congregations. We need to weep for all nations. We need to weep for the earth. Death is in the house.


Women of God, we need to weep for politicians and police. We need to weep for those who perpetuate the culture of violence and retaliation, and those who fall prey to it. We need to weep for those who are marginalized. We need to weep for those who cannot see our women’s beautiful bodies as being created in the image of God.


This year our Women’s Department will focus on the Wailing Women. In addition to exploring topics and reasons to wail in the times we live in, we will conduct prayer and workshops surrounding crucial issues in need of our cries.


On behalf of myself, the Mother’s Board and the women of Holiness Tabernacle, I invite you to join our branch of Wailing Women – let’s cry out to God on behalf of our families, churches, nation and world.

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About Holiness Tabernacle

Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ is located in Northern Virginia where our desire is to build a work as unto the Lord through the lives of people. We desire to minister to the total man; spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially.

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