‘Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless’

10 July 2016 - 14:20 By Deneesha Pillay

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless‚ the congregation heard during a special thanksgiving service‚ celebrating his four decades of episcopal ministry‚ on Sunday.The service‚ held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg‚ presided over by his close friend‚ Reverend Barney Pityana‚ saw a joyful Archbishop Tutu moving and singing during songs of worship and praise.“I can barely put it better‚ I think‚ than the late President Nelson Mandela did when he paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond - sometimes strident‚ he said‚ often tender‚ never afraid and seldom without humour.“Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless‚” Pityana said during the service.Archbishop Tutu‚ who served as Dean of St Mary’s prior to being appointed Bishop of Lesotho 40 years ago‚ said he was touched by the service and homily and thanked all who contributed to its success.Jokingly‚ he told members of the choir that if they didn’t come to his funeral‚ he would get up from the coffin and ask “where are you?”“I was ordained deacon here (St Mary’s Cathedral)‚ I was made a priest here‚ and then I became Dean here‚ and I was consecrated here‚ and had my first consecration as Archbishop here‚” he said.“Leah and I are just incredibly overwhelmed and all we can do is say thank you‚” he added as he turned in a circle addressing everyone in attendance.“Thank you so much to our former presidents. I didn’t expect any of this and it’s a deeply touching thing that you should be here present. Thank you‚ thank you‚ thank you‚” Tutu said.Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe were also present.Earlier this month‚ on July 2‚ the Archbishop and his wife Leah celebrated 61 years of marriage.

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