National Day of Prayer and Reflection across South Africa

National Day of Prayer and Reflection across South Africa

By staff writers
8 Dec 2013

President Jacob Zuma will attend a service at the Bryanston Methodist Church to mark the National Day of Prayer and Reflection called to remember former President Nelson Mandela on Sunday 8 December 2013.

The day is intended to be open to people of all faiths and none, though South Africa remains a predominantly religious as well as diverse society.

The South African statesman, who died on 5 December 2013, said once, when asked how he wished to be remembered: "It would be very egotistical of me to say how I would like to be remembered. I'd leave that entirely to South Africans. I would just like a simple stone on which is written, 'Mandela'.”

President Zuma yesterday reiterated the call to all to go to stadiums, halls, churches, temples or synagogues on 8 December, "to celebrate the life of Madiba and through him, that of all other South Africans who sacrificed so much so that we could be free from apartheid colonialism, all of us, black and white."

"We should, while mourning, also sing at the top of our voices, dance and do whatever we want to do, to celebrate the life of this outstanding revolutionary who kept the spirit of freedom alive and led us to a new society. As South Africans we sing when we are happy and we also sing when we are sad to make ourselves feel better. Let us celebrate Madiba in this way, which we know best. Let us sing for Madiba," he continued.

A Ceremony of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday 10 December at the 95,000-capacity Calabash, a football stadium in Soweto on the outskirts of Johannesburg, where Mr Mandela made his last public appearance in July 2010 at the World Cup closing ceremony.

His body will lie in state in Pretoria to allow public figures, world leaders, and tens of thousands of ordinary South Africans to pay their respects.

A State Funeral will be held in Qunu, Nelson Mandela's childhood home, on Sunday, 15 December. It is understood that the burial will follow Xhosa tribal traditions.

Cape Town Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, a successor to Desmond Tutu, has released a prayer for former president. It reads: “Go forth, revolutionary and loving soul, on your journey out of this world, in the name of God, who created you, suffered with you and liberated you.

“Go home Madiba, you have selflessly done all that is good, noble and honourable for God’s people.

“We will continue where you have left off, the Lord being our helper.”

[Ekk/3]

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