Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians gathered on Thursday at the St. Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa to pay their last respects to the late patriarch, Abune Paulos who died last week at 76.
Representatives from various countries, bishops and heads of churches including Coptic Church of Egypt, Syria and India, General Secretary of World Churches, representatives of the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church attended the funeral ceremony.
The late Ethiopian patriarch was one of the seven serving presidents of the World Council of Churches.
The body of His Holiness Abune Paulos arrived at St. Trinity Cathedral Church late on Wednesday for a special religious ceremony.
He was transported from St. Mary Church Monastery to the cathedral in a special coach and escorted by patriarchs, the laity, staff members of Teklay Bete Khinet, trainees in spiritual colleges of Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), abbots and abbess of various monasteries and heads of churches in Addis Ababa.
The special funeral ceremony was accompanied by various religious ceremonies, including a mass prayer ceremony and a requiem. Thursday’s funeral ceremony was broadcast live on national television and radios.
Born in Adwa in Tigray Province of the northern part of the country, the patriarch did his education at the Theological College of the Holy Trinity in Addis Ababa under the patronage of Patriarch Abune Tewophilos.
He was sent to study at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in the United States and later undertookdoctoral degree at Princeton Theological Seminary.
The patriarch also lived in exile in the United States.
Paulos, a renowned scholar and peace advocate, worked on the reconciliation process between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
He was one of the rare exceptionally educated patriarchs in Ethiopian history after completing various degrees, including his doctoral degree, at prestigious institutions.
Source: The Africa Report