Desmond Tutu’s funeral service under way amid inclement weather

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The funeral service of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu is officially under way inside the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Outside, the rain has simmered down as local and international media, some covered in plastic to ward off the light drizzle, fill up Wale Street next to the church. 

Tutu will be given what in the Anglican church is known as the Eucharist funeral, which among others, is expected to depict the life of Jesus Christ and encourage a Christ-like life. This will include some rituals like the sprinkling of the coffin with water which resembles the baptism that takes place when one is welcomed into the ministry.  

Amid wet condition, dignitaries, including president Cyril Ramaphosa and former President Kgalema Motlanthe began arriving from around 8am.

The funeral service programme is the culmination of years of planning by the Archbishop who gave detailed instructions on how his funeral should conducted, who should speak, which hymns should be sang including their versions. 

A popular Sotho hymn, Ha Ke Le Tje Ke Le Mobe, which was very dear to Tutu’s mother as well as Lizalis’ idinga lakho meaning Fullfill or realise your promise are some of the songs the Arch order they be sung during his funeral service.  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Funeral Service:

Some people in the vicinity of Parliament and the St Georges Cathedral have described Saturday’s rain as a blessing from God to a man of God.