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Country Comes Together to Remember Leader in Tributes for Mandela

Updated: Monday, December 9 2013, 01:09 PM EST
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Alphonso Van Marsh, CBS) -- The tributes continue Sunday morning for Nelson Mandela.

The former leader of South Africa died Thursday at the age of 95.  South Africans filled local churches Sunday to remember Nelson Mandela; heeding the call for a national day of prayer and reflection.

At the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Johannesburg, Father Harry Wilkenson said parishioners should remember Mandela as a gift to humanity.

We are thanking God for what he did for this country, in fact his influence around the world. 

The country's president, Jacob Zuma, attended service at a Methodist church, with Mandelas wife Graca Machel and Mandelas ex-wife Winnie Mikizela.

The government is asking people to pray not only in places of worship, but in homes, communities, and anywhere else appropriate to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

Outside Mandela's home in Houghton, mourners keep adding flowers, cards and candles to a makeshift memorial.  

A group of children prayed for the anti-apartheid leader months ago when he was fighting a lung infection at the hospital.  Now they're saying goodbye.

George Senosha said, They want to come here and join the nation to pray for Tata's soul to rest in peace.

The official services begin Tuesday with a memorial at a soccer stadium in Soweto Township in Johannesburg.  An overflow crowd is expected as well as world leaders including President Obama.

The state funeral will be held on December 15th in Mandelas hometown.

Mandela's family released a statement Saturday that says they lost a great man and in their hearts and souls- Mandela will always be with them.

VIDEO hereCountry Comes Together to Remember Leader in Tributes for Mandela


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