Kosrae Congregational Good Friday service

In the evening of Good Friday, the Kosrae Women's Christian Association presents a special program of song, prayer, and bible passages. The evening starts off in the light.

The front of the altar is not only draped in black, but the holy place is sealed off from the congregation.

Alice, Sepe, and Notwe prepare for the program to come.

Emliana reads a passage from the bible in Kosraean. The windows are covered with dark blue fabric.

At the hour of the reckoning, the darkness falls, literally. All lights go out, not a candle is lit. The women sit in the dark, alternating reciting passages from the cross interspersed sorrowful songs. Their voices crack with a deep and visceral sadness that casts a pall over those in the church. In the dark some of the women are heard softly crying. The emotional impact on one sitting and listening in the dark is unexpectedly powerful, moving, and evokes a sense of both fear and intense loss.

As the program draws to a close, candles are lit and the women move out into the congregation.

After the program is completed, the church members gather on the porch to share a meal and commune with family and friends.

Nipasta Julia and member Shrue hold candles as the program comes to a close.


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