Diakonia Council of Churches honours healthcare workers at special Good Friday prayer service
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Durban – Reverend Musa Zondi – once touted as a possible successor to IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi – led the Diakonia Council of Churches in a special Good Friday prayer honouring healthcare workers.
The symbolic, invitation-only Good Friday event took place outside the Addington Hospital in Durban.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the Diakonia Council of Churches were not able to hold their traditional format of over 3 000 people at the Durban Exhibition Centre and the silent procession through the street carrying the cross.
Instead, a few guests, including KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, observed a short service under the theme “Honouring our Health Care Workers”.
The council said the sacrifice of the healthcare workers was directly linked to the Christian theme of Good Friday, where Jesus Christ gave his life for the world.
The chairperson of the Diakonia Council of Churches, Reverend Musa Zondi, acknowledged healthcare workers, saying they went beyond the call of duty in the last year during the pandemic.
“They risked their lives for the welfare of others and they continue to do so and that is what God teaches us this Good Friday. That we, too, when we claim that we love, must demonstrate our willingness to give without counting,” Zondi said.
During the service, Zondi honoured the healthcare workers present and read out the names of healthcare workers who lost their lives due to Covid-19.
Zikalala said shortly after the service that this was “a point of spiritual rejuvenation”.
“Health workers have sacrificed themselves, leading in the fight against Covid-19, and some paid the ultimate price.
“We also remember all those leaders and community members who have passed on because of Covid-19. We are grateful for the healing brought by the Scripture and the service itself,” Zikalala said.
He urged all South Africans to ensure they follow Covid-19 protocols during this weekend of prayer.
The symbolic service was one of the many elements of the Holy Week in Durban held by the Diakonia Council of Churches. The public was also invited to wear a purple mask over the Easter weekend.
The Durban Holy Week was coordinated by the Denis Hurley Centre in association with 27 of the city’s churches and Christian organisations to prepare for Easter.
In the tradition of the Diakonia procession, culminating in Flowering the Cross on the steps of the City Hall, people were also encouraged to place white flowers on their front doors, in street-facing windows and around their churches as a mark of remembrance for those who have died this Saturday.