"Do Not Fear, Stand Firm"
Diakonia Council of Churches, which for more than four decades has worked towardsa just society, presents its annual ecumenical Good Friday service at dawn on Friday 30 March 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 Do Not Fear, Stand Firm.
"We will be reflecting on what it means to stand firm in our faith 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 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.
The sermon will be delivered by Revd Thulani Ndlazi - the Synod Secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), a position he has held since 2013. "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," 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 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.
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 - the organisers appeal that all congregants contribute generously.