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Good Friday tradition continues with ecumenical service

It has become a Hastings religious community tradition.

This year's ecumenical Good Friday service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2035 W. 15th St.

"That's a good word - tradition," said the Rev. James Perkl, pastor of Seton Church. "It is a sweet day and people carry the memories from this church service back to their own church services."

The service is an annual one sponsored by the Hastings Ministerial Association and will have between 15 to 20 area church pastors participating in it - leading the service for the church, which is usually full.

What has become symbolic at the service will be part of it again. The wooden cross, defining Christ on the cross, is carried into the church at the start of the service.

"We (the pastors) carry the cross together," Perkl said. The silence is inspirational.

The service includes readings from the Gospel, prayers, special music under the direction of Chris Falteisek, Seton's director of liturgy and music, and new, this year, a presentation by the Seton Church NET team.

"They will be presenting a drama, which illustrates the meaning of Christ's passion," Perkl said.

Each year, the ministerium's members review the previous years' Good Friday services and decide on the current year's service.

"God so loved the world that he sent his only son so that we could receive his love," Perkl said. "No one is excluded from that love.

"Every individual is held in Jesus' heart. People want to experience God's love."

And they do at this service, he said. He noted other churches continue to hold their own Good Friday services, and this service is not meant to take anything away from them. It enhances the day and Holy Week for people.

As in other years, the free will offering from the service is designated for Hastings Family Service.