South Africa honors Mandela with national day of prayer

BY Connie Kargbo  December 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM EST

A child holds a candle during Sunday service on a national day of prayer for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 8, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Credit: Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Across the rainbow nation Sunday, South Africans poured into churches or took the time to privately commemorate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

South African officials had called for a national “day of prayer” to honor the late anti-apartheid icon.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation will live stream Nelson Mandela’s memorial in the player above at 4 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 10.

At the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg, several members of Mandela’s family, his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and President Jacob Zuma attended a prayer service.

In Soweto — the town where the 1976 anti-apartheid uprising took place, the Regina Mundi church was host to hundreds of worshippers. Father Sebastian Rossouw described Mandela as “our light in the darkness.”

Zimbabwean Virginia Sibanda told the New York Times that Mandela “was a leader not just for South Africa but for all Africans, and the world.”

Outside of South Africa, commemorative services were held from London to Ramallah.