Duke to Hold Interfaith Vigil for Mandela on Tuesday Evening

The 6 p.m. event is open to the public

An interfaith service of prayer and remembrance for the life of Nelson Mandela will be held at Duke Chapel on Tuesday, Dec. 10. 

The 6 p.m. vigil is open to the public. Parking is available in the Bryan Center garage. For those unable to attend, the event will be streamed live on the Duke Chapel website, chapel.duke.edu.

"Nelson Mandela fought for the freedom of all human beings and helped the moral arc of the universe to bend toward justice. He was a man of great faith, hope, love, truth, justice and peace," said the Rev. Luke Powery, dean of Duke Chapel. "His legacy lives on because he embodied truth and reconciliation; his life preached a sermon that echoes all over the world today."

Campus religious leaders will offer remarks during the 45-minute service, which coincides with World Human Rights Day. The service will include a slideshow featuring images of and quotations by Mandela, and a faciulty member will read a reflection written by South African Methodist minister Peter Storey, a professor emeritus in Duke Divinity School. During his 40-year ministry in South Africa Storey was appointed as regional chairperson of the National Peace Accord by Mandela. 

The Concilium on Southern Africa and the Africa Conversations Club, along with Duke Chapel, organized the event.

"We were moved to create a space at Duke for people who feel gratitude for Nelson Mandela -- we call him Madiba -- for what he did not only for South Africa but for human rights," said Catherine Admay, a visiting professor of public policy at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy. "We planned it for conjunction with human rights day so that anyone who has ever been encouraged by Madiba is able to celebrate, honor and mourn him."

Admay said that Mandela has been a source of inspiration and practical encouragement for her and others.

"It's a difficult time being away from home as a South African citizen because we've truly lost a great leader," said sophomore Busi Sibeko, co-founder of the Africa Conversations Club. "This is about celebrating his life in the diaspora."

For more information on the vigil, visit chapel.duke.edu.