Thursday 19 December 2013

Valedictory Service for President Mandela at Qunu Homestead

The following is the liturgy used by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at Madiba's home for a service conducted before his remains were handed over to the military for the public funeral at Qunu on Sunday December 15, 2013.


The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end,
They are new every morning.

The Kyrie (isiXhosa)

Nkosi, senzele inceba.
Kristu, senzele inceba.
Nkosi, senzele inceba.

The Lord's Prayer

Collect for the Day

Almighty God, neither death, nor life can separate us from your love: with the whole company of the redeemed is heaven and earth; we praise and magnify your glorious Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for ever.

Matthew 5: 3-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be children of God
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven


Madiba is dead.

Bathembu, Mr President and Deputy and all gathered in this centre of Madiba's home, the Gospel passage we have just heard assures us that “you are there” when you mourn, for God will comfort you. So I ask God's comfort and strength upon you all as you grieve the death of Madiba even as we gather for this family valedictory service to celebrate this remarkable man.

Many profound tributes have been paid to this outstanding man, who dedicated his life to the service of humanity, the cause of justice and care of creation.

Using today's gospel passage, he thirsted and hungered for righteousness and he is now fulfilled.

BaThembu, Masimkhulule, (Let us release him) to the merciful keeping of God – let us forgive each other where we have erred, or where the nation and world have erred.

Masimkhulule, by pursuing all that makes for peace. Let us never forget the price that he and his friends paid for peace and to get South Africa and the world to be where we are.

He remains a symbol of blessedness, hope, peace, admiration, wisdom, love and goodness. How do we or will we measure up to these qualities?

Ma Graca, Bathembu and all gathered here, may God fill you with his warmth and consolation, may he hold you together and sow love in you. May he strengthen you to grieve and mourn Madiba.

God bless you Ma Machel, Ma Winnie and all gathered here as we move to the final service for Madiba's burial. God bless South Africa and Africa. Amen.


Let us now pray before the military takes over.

We give thanks for those who nurtured Madiba, including his father, his mother, the people of Mvezo, and the people of this community of Qunu, including the boys and girls with whom he ran through this beautiful countryside;

We give thanks for those who helped form him in his early days in Johannesburg, for his mentor, Walter Sisulu, and Albertina, for OR Tambo and Adelaide, for the attorneys who gave him his first job in the law, and those who studied with him, such as George Bizos, going on to become lifelong friends.

We give thanks for those, not all of whom shared his politics, who supported him and the cause of liberation while he was on trial and then incarcerated on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor.

The list, Lord, is too long to name all the names, but in a representative capacity we give thanks for:

• The chaplains from the churches who visited him and those with him in prison,

• The chaplains and clergy present here and not who prayed for the family and Madiba throughout his life,

• The lawyers, such as Arthur Chaskalson, Issy Maisels and Duma Nokwe, who defended the leaders of his generation,

• Those such as Helen Suzman and Jacques Moreillon of the International Committee of the Red Cross,who campaigned to ameliorate conditions for him and his fellow prisoners,

• The artists, such as Nadine Gordimer, Hugh Masekela, Caiphas Simenya, Letta Mbulu, Jonas Gwangwa and others, who used their international reputations to support him and our struggle,

• The church leaders who held the torch high while our leaders were imprisoned; people such as Trevor Huddleston, Beyers Naude, Stanley Mogoba and Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

• His friends from the Rivonia trial to his last days, such as Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg,

• For those who cared for him in his last years: the medical professionals, the bodyguards, the drivers, the household staff and the staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, from Jakes Gerwel to his dedicated assistant Zelda le Grange;

• Those in the planning committee for this mourning and funeral service, family members, government and others unknown to us, you know them, Lord.

• For all the members of his family, who loved and cared for him, for his spouses, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren: for his first wife, Evelyn; for Winnie - whose defiance constituted an anti-apartheid struggle all of its own; and for Graca, who brought him happiness in his last years and kept faithful vigil to the end.


O lord, support us all the day long of this troubled life, until the shadows lengthen,
And the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over,
And our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us safe lodging, a holy rest,
And peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We now hand over to the military, Bathembu, in the peace of Christ.