Church leaders meeting to pray, plan Mandela’s funeral

United States President Barrack Obama will be among the many international dignitaries at Nelson Mandela's funeral.
United States President Barrack Obama will be among the many international dignitaries at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Church leaders from all denominations and groups have been invited to an emergency meeting at the Johannesburg headquarters of the South African Council of Churches today to pray together and plan how to bury Nelson Mandela with dignity as international leaders and celebrities prepare to visit South Africa to attend the state funeral.

Meanwhile according to media reports elaborate plans for a 12-day state memorial and funeral were set in motion last night just hours after the death of South Africa’s first democratically elected president. President Jacob Zuma ordered the nation’s flags to be flown at half-mast beginning today and to remain that way until after Mandela’s funeral, which is expected to be held next Saturday. 

Church leaders who are not able to attend today’s emergency prayer and planning meeting at Khotso House at 2pm are requested to send representatives, says Bishop Jo Seoka, the President of the SACC, in a letter to churches.

In a press statement the SACC expresses sorrow at Mandela’s “sad departure from his illustrious earthly life” and “extends a special pastoral embrace to the Mandela family at this time”.

The SACC also calls on South Africans to pray for the soul of the nation’s first democratically elected president, his family and the nation.

“We call on the churches and all people of faith, to focus their worship services and prayers this weekend not only to mourn Mandela but also to celebrate his achievements and thank God for his life and example. The Mandelas are members of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and therefore we appeal to all denomination to support the leadership of the Methodist Church in all ministrations,” says the statement.

Paying tribute to Mandela’s achievement’s the SACC statement says: “We are very much saddened by the news of the death of our Nation’s first President: A man of vision, courage and zeal for the liberation of humankind. He has lived a selfless life so that we may all enjoy freedom and the fullness of life, just as our Lord had purposed. Today we are a respected nation because of his tireless fighting spirit to free us from oppression, exploitation and sexism, and for this we thank God.

“In his words Mandela said, “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden, but never extinguished”. On the night of his sad departure, that flame of his goodness was held up by the grace of God, that it may remain to inspire and influence present and future generations to strive always to live for the common good, after the manner of Jesus Christ who said I have come that you may have life to the fullest.

“Thus Nelson Mandela will not have died, but would have transitioned to a perpetual beacon of light for the democratic order that he led as the first democratic president of the Republic of South Africa.”

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  1. Pastor Million Moffat

    MEMORIAL PRAYER FOR PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA’S FUNERAL HONOUR.   HELD AT VALLEY LODGE HOTEL ON THE 06th Dec 2013. (On behalf of Valley Lodge Hotel Staff.) And Greater Magaliesburg Assembly, in MAGALISBURG, SOUTH AFRICA.BY PASTOR M. MOFFAT Father in the name of Jesus, we stand before you, this afternoon, remembering, one of our great sons of South Africa, ( and the world at large) Mr Nelson Mandela, who has passed on to eternity. We stand here considering him as the father of the nation, who encouraged peace and tranquility to the people and the world. His personallity has preached peace, love unity and justice.. We remember him for the liberation he has brought to us so that we can be a free nation. We remember him as a champion of Justice and dignity. He has demonstrated to the world that forgiveness is real, and that it can be practiced and lived as a true virtue of humanity. Coming from Prison to becoming a President… A position that could have given him the oppotunity to revenge his enemies.. but he still regarded his persecutors as friends and fellow citizens. We thank God for making Nelson Mandela an inspiration, not only for this country alone but for the world at large. He has shown that he has not loved his life, in this world to enjoy the pleasures of life, but has sacrificed his own life, by enduring a prison sentence, of  27 years in prison. What a price he has paid for his own people and the world. We remember him as an ICON, helping humanity to glimpse on true forgiveness that was revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ, who ultimately died for the sins of the world. He has left a legacy that will remain to be history for our genaration and for generations to come. He is a man that has brough true justice that even world leaders have recognised and praised him for that. We remember him from his own words, which he said that ” MEN’s GOODNESS IS A FLAME THAT CAN BE HIDDEN, BUT NEVER EXTINGUISHED”,  with these same words, we acknowledge that…. (as we stand here in this memorial service and room), he was a good man whose goodness will never be extinguished…  The whole world has also stood, mourning, the lose of a gallant soldier, a man who had a purpose, who has proved to the world that, his struggle was not for injustice, but justice for all… His goodness has been witness through and through, within all races of humanity, and we are currently cerebrating his life.   We say what he fought for & his good work, will stand and be cherrised, in this generation and generations to come., We pray that let his soul rest in peace and in your Glory. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen,