Diakonia Good Friday Service in Durban

THE Diakonia Council of Churches’ Good Friday Service – which has the theme “Bruised but Healed through the Cross” – will get under way at 5.15 am on Friday, March 25 at the Durban Exhibition Centre. Participants will then proceed, in silence, walk through the streets of the city to the Durban City Hall.

The tradition of the ecumenical Good Friday Service has become not only the flagship of Diakonia – which for 40 years has been working for a just society – but also a major event in the calendar of the city, attended by thousands of people who gather together at the most auspicious time in the Christian calendar, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary.

Each year, the service highlights a particular aspect of national suffering and injustice. The service this year will focus on the theme Bruised but Healed Through the Cross. The sermon will be delivered by Methodist Bishop Revd Michael Vorster.

Reverend Michael Vorster is currently the Bishop of the Natal Coastal District in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. He has a BThHons (Rhodes) MPh (Ecum)(Dublin). He was the recipient of the 2015 tenth annual Diakonia Human Rights Award. He was also applauded by the city and was awarded Living Legend status.

Michael Vorster has a long association with Diakonia and its affiliates: between 1996 and 2002 Vorster was seconded by the Methodist Church to work with the Diakonia Council of Churches.

Between 2001 and 2002 Vorster worked as coordinator for the World Council of Churches’ Durban Peace to City campaign which aimed to promote global peace and overcome violence. Vorster was also Convener of the District Resolution Team which assisted church leaders in handling conflict.

“Since 1985 the Diakonia Council of Churches has called Christians together on Good Friday to celebrate the central mystery of our faith: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. At the same time we have tried to conscientise and make people aware of Jesus suffering among us today,” says Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala, executive director of Diakonia Council of Churches.

Meditative singing will start at 5.15am, where after the first part of the service will take place at 6am. 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.

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.

For more information, contact the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031 310 3500.

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