In South Africa, the period when the body of Archbishop Desmond Tutu will lie in state at Cape Town’s Anglican cathedral has been extended until Friday,
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has also announced that Tutu’s requiem Mass on Saturday will be a Special Official Funeral Category 1.
Father Michael Weeder is the Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
“It has been a day that has been anticipated, the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu. It has been anticipated for about six years and there was what the Archbishop Thabo (Thabo Makgoba, archbishop of Cape Town) called the ‘Mpilo Plan’. So all the logistics that would lead up to what now would happen on Saturday”, said the Dean.
Many in South Africa saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu as the country’s moral conscience.
“So this is his cathedral and he embraced it as such. Throughout his term, and beyond into his retirement years until about six years ago, if not four years ago, he would, every Friday with rare exception, preside and celebrate at the 0715 Eucharist on a Friday morning… it is a place that is is richly imbued with his presence”, added Father Michael Weeder.
Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu died last Sunday. He was 90 years old.