Trinity joined the rest of the world in a period of mourning and remembrance after the passing of Nelson Mandela last week, South Africa’s first black president and a modern-day prophet.
A picture of Mandela was placed by the votive candles in Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, where visitors and congregants offered their prayers and thanksgivings for his life.
Several priests from the Trinity community posted their own reflections on the Trinity website, including the current rector, the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper and the Rev. Daniel P. Matthews, Rector Emeritus. Each remembered Mandela’s considerable legacy and hoped that the world can follow in his footsteps, working for peace and reconciliation.
In a tribute to Mandela, at the performances of Handel’s Messiah and before the 11:15am Eucharist on Sunday, the choir sang “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (“God Bless Africa”), the Methodist Church hymn that galvanized African liberation movements and is now part of the South African national anthem.
“How wonderful, in a way, that for a change one of the prophets who changed the world got to live a long life, and to share wisdom with us through that time,” said Dr. Cooper before the performance.
“My hope and prayer would be that all prophets who work for love, justice, peace, and reconciliation will be as successful and the world will respond in the same way."