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Eco-friendly acquimation to lay Archbishop Desmond Tutu to rest

Members of the clergy prepare to remove the simple pine coffin carrying the body of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu from the hearse outside St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Friday on the second day the anti-apartheid icon will lie in state. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency / ANA

Members of the clergy prepare to remove the simple pine coffin carrying the body of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu from the hearse outside St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Friday on the second day the anti-apartheid icon will lie in state. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency / ANA

Published Dec 31, 2021

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THE late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will be acquimated in accordance with his eco-friendly beliefs.

This is according to the Very Reverend Michael Weeder, who spoke to eNCA on Friday morning.

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“There is a more eco-friendly way of doing it (cremation) and that is acquimated. It is a process involving water and is more environment friendly which is what he aspired to as an eco-warrior,” said Weeder.

Aquamation is also referred to as flameless cremation, water cremation, and bio-cremation.

It involves placing the body in a stainless-steel vessel and then using heat, pressure, and water with a high alkaline level to reduce the body to its basic elements.

It is the second day that Tutu’s body lies in state at St George’s Cathedral.

Weeder said on Firday that they led the family and loved ones to the high altar where the coffin will lie in state for all of the day and through the night, until its removed. It will then be acquimated at the parlour in Maitland.

“There will be opportunities for the public at large to enter the cathedral to have a moment in front of the coffin. There is also space within the cathedral for those that just want to gather their thoughts.

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At noon today, the first service will celebrate the moment when Angel Gabriel appeared before Maryam to inform her that she would give birth to Christ. This will be followed by a five-minute prayer.

At 5pm, there will be an evening prayer, which is also open to the public. The last prayer will be where people will gather.

Weeder explained this prayer will be meditative and secluding, where people will just “go into the night” without watching television or any other distractions.

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Desmond Tutu

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