Service of Reflection on the life of Nelson Mandela

Friday December 13th 2013

A special service to remember the life of Nelson Mandela is to be held in Belfast on Saturday December 14. 

‘Reflections on the life of Nelson Mandela – Lessons in Peace and Reconciliation’ will be held at St Anne’s Cathedral at 1pm. It is open to all to attend. The service has been jointly organised by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, the Chapter of St Anne’s Cathedral and the African and Caribbean Support Organisation NI (ACSONI).

Dean Mann said: “Numerous people from a variety of backgrounds will be taking part in the service, demonstrating the feeling that Mandela was not only South African, he belonged to the whole of Africa, and, in an even broader sense, to the whole world.

“The service is to consist of readings from Scripture and hymns and prayers, but also including a significant number of quotations from Mandela himself arranged within six focused sections of the service.”

These are:
On those who live in darkness and experience violence
International Co–operation
Unity and the victory over Apartheid
Peace and Reconciliation.

There will be dance and drums, singing and poetry, short tributes and a sense of celebration.

Dean Mann continued: “I welcome this opportunity to share with the Lord Mayor and the African Community in Belfast in a celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela. It is important that we mark the occasion of his death, but yet more important that we learn the lessons of his life.”

The Lord Mayor said: “This is an opportunity for the people of Belfast to reflect on the life of Nelson Mandela and give thanks for the inspiration and legacy he has left us. I would like to thank the Dean and Chapter of St Anne’s and ACSONI for their invaluable work in putting together this service.”
Dr Christopher Stange, Chair of ACSONI, commented: “ACSONI expresses its sincerest condolences on behalf of the entire African and Caribbean community and calls upon our brothers and sisters in Northern Ireland to join in commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela. May his lesson of reconciliation be a beacon for all of us, and may his memories remain forever in the hearts of people and countries across the world.”

Other participants in the service will include representatives of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, as well as the Hindu and Bahá’í faiths. Poet Nandi Jola will read two of her works, while there also will be contributions from the Manukahunney Singers, the Intsika Ka Xhosa South African dance group and Belfast’s Filipino community, as well as local business leaders and members of Belfast City Council’s Youth Forum.

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