Special Worship Events
Portales' traditional 11:00pm Christmas eve candle-light service. First Presbyterian Church of Portales was historically the very first church and church building of the fledgling town in the territory of New Mexico. Being the first church building in Portales, we have a long history of offering to our town's community, a musical candle-light service celebrating the birth of Christ and welcoming Christmas day into our lives.
Please come and join our celebration. Community members from the town and surrounding agricultural areas begin gathering about 10:30pm to celebrate. It is a non-denominational service of music, carols, choir songs/solos and a time for each to celebrate, in their own way, the meaning of the birth of Christ. At the end of the service, after the last advent candle is lit, that light is passed to each individual's candle so they will receive the light of Christ's birth in their life.
An Ash Wednesday service, the first day of Lent, occurring 46 days before Easter is normally available. One of the traditions at many churches is the presentation of ashes during the service (it has varied over the years at First Presbyterian Church of Portales NM, depending upon each serving minister's preferences). If they are presented and are accepted on the forehead by parishioners, the ashes are prepared from dried palms that were gathered from the previous year's Palm Sunday and then burned. The practice is a tradition in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and some Baptist denominations.
A Tenebrae Service (Latin for darkness or shadows) is held on Good Friday, as one of the last three days of Holy Week, which is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It represents the darkness of death of Jesus Christ caused by sin and Satan.