Members of the clergy carry the coffin of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu out of St George's Cathedral. Picture: Henk Kruger/ African News Agency (ANA)
Members of the clergy carry the coffin of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu out of St George's Cathedral. Picture: Henk Kruger/ African News Agency (ANA)

Tutu wrap: Everything you need to know about the Arch’s funeral

By IOL Time of article published Jan 1, 2022

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Cape Town - Desmond Tutu was the moral compass and national conscience – President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was not only the country’s moral compass but also the national conscience.

“Even after the advent of democracy, he did not hesitate to draw attention, often harshly, to our shortcomings as leaders of the democratic State,” Ramaphosa said while delivering the eulogy at the special official funeral of Tutu in St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

Tutu, who was fondly referred to as the Arch, died at the age of 90 on Sunday.

Ramaphosa described him as a global icon – someone of great moral stature, of exceptional qualities and of service to humanity.

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Tutu funeral sermon: He was a giant among us morally and spiritually, says Reverend Nuttal

“What does the Lord require of you, but to pursue justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God, in Desmond Mpilo Tutu, this threefold cord was interwoven in a long-lived authenticity.

“That is why we loved him and respected him and valued him so deeply."

These were the opening words of Reverend Michael Nuttal who delivered the sermon at the funeral service of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Saturday in Cape Town.

Despite being small in stature, he was a giant among us morally and spiritually, Nuttal said.

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Shortly after the funeral of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrapped up at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Friday afternoon, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, the acting chairperson of the Desmond Tutu Intellectual Property Trust, confirmed that the late icon’s aquamation would be conducted at a private ceremony attended only by his family.

The 90-year-old anti-apartheid activist – who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work against apartheid and chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – will be acquamated in accordance with his eco-friendly beliefs.

Reverend Michael Weeder explained that aquamation is a more eco-friendly cremation.

The process involves water and is also referred to as flameless cremation, water cremation and bio-cremation.

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Read the eulogy delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the funeral service of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

Tutu’s light will go on shining because it is the light of Christ says Archbishop of Canterbury

Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his condolences and those of all Anglicans around the world to mama Leah and the family of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

In a pre-recorded video message aired on Saturday morning at Tutu’s funeral, Reverend Welby said that for himself or any Archbishop of Canterbury to give a tribute to the Archbishop was like a mouse giving a tribute to an elephant.

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Naomi Tutu shares emotional tribute to her father

In a tribute to her father, Nontombi Naomi Tutu, the daughter of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu expressed gratitude for the messages of condolences that the Tutu family received following her father's passing.

Naomi said the family has been unable to attend to or respond to every message and prayer received, but thanked the public for the overwhelming support.

"If you sent us a message and you haven't heard from the person you sent it to… it is not because we are ignoring or are ungrateful for the message…we have just received so many and we have just been overwhelmed," she said.

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Dignitaries

Dignitaries attending the funeral of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town began streaming in on Saturday morning.

Among Tutu’s family and widow Leah Nomalizo Tutu, mourners and guests in attendance included President Cyril Ramaphosa and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe who walked in the rainy weather and into the Cathedral with their wives and former first lady Zanele Mbeki and Gugu Mtshali.

Videos: Tarryn-Leigh Solomons and Phando Jikelo

King of Lesotho Letsie III is also in attendance, along with business mogul Patrice Motsepe and his wife, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

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Rain dampens turnout

While the downpour is likely to keep many members of the public at home today, organisers are expecting some mourners to trickle in through the day at the Grand Parade in order to catch a glimpse of the funeral service of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

The funeral service of one of South Africa's greatest sons is scheduled to begin at 10am.

The public viewing area at the Grande Parade is only a stone’s throw away from St George's Cathedral – the place the Arch claimed to have loved the most.

According to the South African Weather Service, light rain and scattered showers are expected throughout the morning, with cloudy weather expected to persist.

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Video: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

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