South African religious leaders led prayers on Tuesday (December 10) at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela at Johannesburg's FNB stadium.

South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein began the interfaith prayers in a crowded stadium in front of world leaders.

"God of the spirits of all flesh, in whose hands are the souls of the living and the dead, receive we beseech you in your great loving kindness the soul of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who has been gathered unto his people. Remember him for the righteousness which he has done," said Goldstein in prayer.

The Chief Rabbi was followed by the Hindu leader, Ashwin Trikamjee, President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, who said, ""Oh supreme Lord, lead us from untruth to truth, like our father Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela."

The South African Muslim leader paid tribute to Mandela as an icon of freedom.

"We extend our condolence to the Mandela family and the nation during this time of sadness over the passing away of Madiba, a global icon of freedom in recent times," he said

The Christian leader, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, prayed for South Africans to enact the values Mandela stood for in his prayer.

"We wail yet we believe that you will console us, that you will give us the strength to hold in our hearts and minds and the courage to enact in our lives the values Mandela fought and stood for," he said.

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete led the crowd in the song "Siyabonga Nkokheli Tata Madiba" (We Thank Our Leader) after the interfaith prayers.

Presented by Adam Justice