Diakonia Good Friday Service

The Diakonia Council of Churches Ecumenical Good Friday Service.
Durban City Hall Steps: Friday 29 March @ 6am
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” Activist Elie Wiesel.
DURBAN: The Diakonia Council of Churches is calling people of faith to its annual ecumenical Good Friday service in front of the Durban City Hall, at dawn on Friday, 29 March, starting at 6am.
Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, is the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is the most solemn day of the Christian calendar.
Each year, the service highlights a particular aspect of national suffering or injustice. This year the theme is “Challenging Indifference” – Indifference to social justice, Indifference to faith and Indifference to the upcoming elections. Guest preacher is Rev Bulelwa Sihlali Woolley assistant priest at St Martin’s Anglican Church in Durban North.
The service is hosted by Diakonia Council of Churches, this year working closely with the Denis Hurley Centre as we commemorate 20 years since the death of Archbishop Hurley on 13 February 2004. We also celebrate 10 years since the Denis Hurley Centre started, and we mark 30 years of democracy in South Africa.
The GFS is supported by eThekwini Municipality, and this year also by DUT Faculty of Arts and Design and a team of volunteers. DUT Drama students will be participating in the GFS this year.
Meditative music by organist Melvin Peters will start at 5:30am on the City Hall steps, whereafter the first part of the service will take place at 6:00am.
The initial part of the service takes place in front of the Durban City Hall. This is followed by a silent procession around the City Hall precinct, continuing past the Workshop and the old prison wall, then through the streets of the city and back to the Durban City Hall, while the bells of St Paul’s solemnly toll. The service ends with the flowering of the cross.
“There will be a police presence as additional security. Entry to the Good Friday service is free and all are welcome, with a collection being taken up during the service to support the work of Diakonia. All are welcome to participate in this significant, multi-lingual Christian Easter service.” said Diakonia’s Rev Ian Booth.
Since 1985 the Diakonia Council of Churches has called Christians together on Good Friday to celebrate the central mystery of their faith: The Passion – which (in a Christian context) in essence refers to the short final period of the life of Jesus Christ.
After Easter, Diakonia and Denis Hurley Centre with other churches will be co-ordinating a seven week “virtual pilgrimage” across the Durban suburbs to prepare us for the elections. This will take the form of weekly on-line sessions, further unpacking this year’s theme, and surrounding the city in prayer between Easter and the elections.
This “bridge” between Easter and the elections will include various collaborations with DUT Faculty of Arts and Design. The Drama Dept is looking at creating a theatrical response to democracy and Challenging Indifference.
For more info, contact Chundran Chetty at the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031 310 3500 / centremanager@diakonia.org.za.
Diakonia needs volunteers to participate in the smooth running of the service. Please contact their offices if you can help.
Captions to photograph
Members of the GFS organising committee with a collection of the GFS crosses
Rev Ian Booth; Illa Thompson; Rev Chundran Chetty; Rev Bulelwa Sihlali Woolley; Melvin Peters

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