Congregation comes together in spirit for Good Friday service

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Port City Community Church holds virtual Good Friday service. (Photo: Port City Community Church)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Easter weekend looks a lot different than it’s ever looked before. With churches looking at alternative services, Port City Community Church in Wilmington is using technology to bring everyone together in spirit for Good Friday.

“This is not a season where we wait until life gets back to the way it was,” Pastor Mike Ashcraft said. “This is actually the life we’re living now.”

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It’s not the life anyone expected right now, but some are taking it as an opportunity.

“We’re really using tonight to enter into that,” Ashcraft said. “The whole point of celebrating Good Friday is to enter into the death of Jesus.”

The church’s virtual Good Friday service is a first for most. Families gathered around their screens for scripture readings, songs and even communion.

Oddly enough, Ashcraft says this service takes things back to the root of the holiday.

“The way we do it now in large groups is really not the way they did it back then,” he said. “It was actually attached to a meal in a home. So this is really, in some ways, a way for us to get a perspective we would not get in a highly produced service.”

The church asked everyone to bring their own cup and bread to the virtual table. Although it may have felt unconventional, Ashcraft says these times embody the meaning of Good Friday.

“You enter into it,” he said. “You remember it, and you embrace it because of what lies on the other side. I think the same thing is true of hard circumstances.”

In these circumstances, Ashcraft has a message for people.

“The big thing is giving people permission to know this is hard,” he said. “I don’t think you have to pretend, or to go, ‘This isn’t as big of a deal’, or to try and compare your hardship with someone else’s hardship. Rather, just go, ‘this is a hard thing we’re dealing with.'”

Ashcraft says tonight’s service will be up on their website at portcity.tv. He says they are holding a virtual Easter service Sunday at 10 a.m.