Cathedral to host Feb. 2 service celebrating life & witness of Desmond Tutu

The diocesan community is invited to join in giving thanks for the life and witness of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas), at 6 p.m.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Diocese of Massachusetts file photo: Amey Callahan Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu

The livestreamed service of Holy Eucharist will be held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. Bishop Alan M. Gates and Bishop Gayle E. Harris will co-preside, and a sermon will be offered by the Rev. Noble Scheepers, co-chair of the diocesan Racial Justice Commission, who was mentored by and worked with Tutu.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, in-person attendance at the service will be limited to 50 people. To reserve a space, e-mail cathedral administrator Brad Rothrock at

The livestream will be available to view on the cathedral's website ( and YouTube channel.

Those attending in person are invited to bring candles from their church or home to be blessed by the bishops during the service. Baptismal candles will also be blessed and will be available for churches to purchase from the cathedral, at cost, in the season ahead.

An offering is being invited to support the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation: Donations can be sent directly to the foundation online or checks can be made out to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (with "Tutu Foundation" in the memo line) and mailed to the cathedral at 138 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02111.

In preparation for the service, the cathedral invites people to send brief (~100 words) personal remembrances, thanksgivings and tributes to Tutu, as well as scans of photographs from encounters with him, for inclusion in a wall of tribute in the cathedral sanctuary. Please send all material to

Read more here about the life and witness of the late Anglican archbishop whose life and witness was synonymous with South Africa's nonviolent struggle against apartheid.