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Diakonia Council of Churches, which recently celebrated 40 years of working towards a just society, presents its annual ecumenical Good Friday service at dawn on Friday 14 April starting at the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) before processing – in silence – through the streets of the city, to the Durban City Hall.
The well-established tradition of the ecumenical Good Friday Service has become not only the flagship of Diakonia but also a major event in the Durban calendar, attended by thousands of people who gather together at the most auspicious time for Christians, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary.
Each year, the service highlights a particular aspect of national suffering or injustice. The service this year will focus on the theme Whom Shall I Send? taken from Isaiah 6.8. The sermon will be delivered by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM.
Cardinal Napier represents the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban. He has a degree in Latin and English from the University of Galaway, as well as an MA in Philosophy and Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where he was later bestowed an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
Cardinal Napier (OFM) has had a close and long standing relationship with Diakonia and its affiliates. He and other church leaders were deeply involved in mediation and negotiation during the unrest leading up to the country’s first democratic elections.
“In light of the theme this Good Friday, we will be reflecting on an internal journey to see if we are ready for God’s vision for us as individuals.
“The world, and (at times) our country, may seem like it is in turmoil with rampant prejudice, corruption, crime and financial strife and while most of us feel we should rather look away and focus on ourselves, families and work stresses, we must ask ourselves if we are doing what God wants us to do in our land,” says Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala: Executive Director of Diakonia Council of Churches.
A time of meditative singing will start at 5.15am at the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC), where after the first part of the service will take place at 6.00am.
The congregation will proceed through the streets of Durban in silent public witness.
The service will conclude at approximately 8.15am at the City Hall with the flowering of the Cross – as an act of commitment by all present to act for a just society and take up God’s call.
Limited parking and street parking is available at the DEC with additional off street parking around the City Hall. Transport back to the DEC from the City Hall will be arranged for the elderly and the infirm.
Entry to the Good Friday service is free, with a collection being taken up during the service to support the burgeoning costs of this event. All are welcome to participate in this significant, multi-lingual Christian Easter event.