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Woodburn Area Ministerial Association to host services on Good Friday and Easter

Easter season has arrived, and the Woodburn Area Ministerial Association (WAMA) has three events planned to help the community celebrate.

There will be two Tenebrae services on Good Friday, one at noon and the other at 6 p.m., at Woodburn Christian Church, 126 Workman Drive, Woodburn.

A Tenebrae service is a solemn, candlelit service that includes readings and meditation, and is held during Holy Week (which culminates with Easter Sunday). Tenebrae literally means "shadows" or "darkness" in Latin. During the service, a reading of the last seven words uttered by Jesus before his death will be performed, each accompanied by a meditation. After each meditation, a candle is extinguished, eventually leaving the sanctuary in total darkness.

"The seven candles located in the center of the sanctuary represent the life of Christ," explained Mike Smith, pastor of Woodburn Christian Church. "Today as we remember the suffering and agony of Jesus upon the cross, bearing the guilt of our sin and disobedience, we reflect upon his final seven sayings. With each saying, a candle is extinguished as Jesus' life is slowly and tortuously sacrificed. The service moves through the last hours of Jesus' life until one light remains: the Light of Christ. This candle is not extinguished for we know Jesus is not truly dead. But the candle is removed from our presence."

At the close of the service, guests are invited to exit the sanctuary behind the last candle, or they are welcome to stay and pray in silence for a time.

When the Tenebrae services were first created, they were spread out over three days, starting on Maundy Thursday. The original Thursday service emphasized the betrayal of Jesus and the institution of the Lord's Supper, the Good Friday service focused on his rejection, crucifixion and death, and the Saturday service was geared toward the burial of Jesus.

Over time the Tenebrae has mostly centered on Good Friday.

"Whether the service focuses on the Psalms, the Way of the Cross, the events of Holy Week or the seven sayings spoken from the cross, each part of the service is carefully designed to communicate the significance of the death of Jesus in a dramatic way," Smith said.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, WAMA will continue its annual tradition of hosting a sunrise service at the Tulip Festival. The service will be at 7 a.m. at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S. Meridian Road, Woodburn. This service, held in sight of acres of blooming tulips, will include worship and an inspiring Easter message. Rick Puente will lead the congregation in worship, Will Robertson, pastor of Woodburn Fellowship Church of the Nazarene, will provide special music, and Corey Knudson, head of Young Life in Woodburn, is set to deliver the Easter message.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own seating and to dress warmly.

A freewill offering will be received at each service, and the proceeds will benefit the local community.

Lindsay Keefer can be reached at 503-765-1193 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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