President John Dramani Mahama and the funeral committee on the late President Mills’ yesterday held a solemn memorial church service to mark one week of the demise of the late President at the Castle gardens in Accra.
The service, took the form of bible readings and hymns singing but there was no sermon and speeches.
Special prayers were said for the soul of the departed President, while his leadership qualities, humility and selfless nature were espoused by the clergy.
Prayers were also said for President John Mahama and his administration for God’s guidance, grace and wisdom to enable them to steer the affairs of the nation.
It was attended by President Mahama and his wife, Lordina, former President J.J. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu, the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, members of the Council of State, Ministers of State, party functionaries and Senior Officers of the Security Services.
The nation was thrown into a state of mourning on Tuesday, July 24 when the late President Mills passed away suddenly after taking ill at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
His then Vice-President, John Mahama, was sworn-in by Justice Georgina Wood, the Chief Justice, as President of the Republic on the evening of that fateful day at Parliament in accordance with Article 60 sub-section six of the 1992 constitution.
Following the tragic incident, tributes and condolences to the government and people of Ghana and the bereaved family, had been pouring in and continue to come from world leaders, international organisations, the diplomatic community in Ghana, traditional authorities, religious leaders, the various political parties, civil society and public and private sector organisations in the country.
The church service at the castle gardens began with a call to worship and an opening prayer by Reverend Dr. Nii Amoo Darku, a member of the Council of State and a minister of the gospel at the Castle church.
It was followed by an opening hymn, “O God our help in ages past,” after which the Ghana Navy Band gave a rendition from their repertoire of dirges.
Commodore Steve Obimpeh, Officer in charge of Presidential Estates, then performed the first bible reading from the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 7:1-5, which dwells on thoughts about life. He read, among other things, that “death awaits all of us,” and “It is better to have wise people reprimand you than to have stupid people sing your praises.”
The hymn, “Guide me o thou great Jehovah,” was sang and a song rendition from the castle choir followed, after which the second bible reading concerning Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was read by Ms. Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Environment and Science.
Reverend S.Y. Kwami, a minister of the gospel prayed that Ghanaians would live together as brothers and sisters. “We, as a nation, have sinned and continue to sin against God, we have maligned one another, shed innocent blood and have trampled on the rights of the poor,” he said.
He said the late President espoused peace, brotherhood and religious tolerance.
A favourite hymn of the late President Mills, “Begone Unbelief,” was then sang after which the third reading from the book of Revelations chapter 20: 4-6, 11-15, was read by Mr Kwame Bebaako-Mensah, Secretary to the President.
Mr. Henry Martey Newman noted that the day President Mills died, the country became unified, developed peace, became prayerful and celebrated his life.