Diakonia Invites Catholics to Good Friday Service
Catholics are invited to join the Diakonia Council of Churches, when it presents its annual ecumenical Good Friday service on Friday, March 30, 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, multi-lingual Good Friday service has become not only the flagship of Diakonia but also a major event on 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 “Do Not Fear, Stand Firm”.
Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala, executive director of Diakonia, said those participating will be reflecting on what it means to stand firm in their faith.
“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. We need to stand firm, even if it means standing alone—standing in truth, in hope, in justice, and in faith. The world, and at times our country, may seem like it is in turmoil, with rampant prejudice, corruption, crime and financial strife,” Ms Mvambo-Dandala said.
“While most of us feel we should rather look away and focus on ourselves, our families and our work stresses, we must ask if we are doing what God wants us to do in our land.”
Rev Thulani Ndlazi of UCCSA
The sermon will be delivered by Reverend Thulani Ndlazi, the synod secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), a position he has held since 2013.
Prior to moving to Johannesburg to take up this role, he was based in Durban from 2011-12 as moderator of the UCCSA for the KwaZulu-Natal region.
Durban people will remember him as the programme manager of the Church Land Programme based in Pietermaritzburg from 2004, in which he spearheaded and coordinated the first ecumenical Land Matters Project, focusing on land and human rights, in KwaZulu-Natal.
He also co-facilitated the research-based Bible Study production process, which led to a formation of another rural social movement, called Rural Network.
Order of the Service
Meditative singing will start at 5:15, with the first part of the service taking place at 6:00.
The congregation will then proceed through the streets of Durban in silent public witness.
The service will then conclude at about 8:15 at the City Hall with the flowering of the Cross — as an act of commitment by all present to work 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 during the service to help fund the costs of the event, and the organisers have appealed to all congregants to contribute generously. All are welcome.
For more info, contact the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031 310 3500 or visit www.diakonia.org.za