In honor of the 35th anniversary of the passing of Bob Marley, who finished his life as a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (his baptism was just six months before his death), we’re reposting this piece we posted in 2010 (with a few additions) featuring the program from his funeral in Jamaica. Memory eternal!
(The Ethiopian church is one of the Non-Chalcedonian/Oriental churches, which is not in communion with the [Eastern] Orthodox Church.)
Journey To Orthodoxy yesterday ran a piece about the conversion of reggae artist Bob Marley to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (a non-Chalcedonian church very similar to but not currently in communion with the [Eastern] Orthodox Church). It’s worth a read. We thought it might also be of interest to see this primary source document pictured above which also witnesses to his 1980 baptism—at which he took the name Berhane Selassie (“Light of the Trinity”)—and subsequent burial in 1981 by the Ethiopian Orthodox in Jamaica.
The image we found is a little small, so here’s the full text for those whose eyes (zoom capability) might not be quite up to the task:
HON. ROBERT NESTA MARLEY, O.M.
(BOB MARLEY – BERHANE SELASSIE)
(Light of the Trinity)
THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
89 MAXFIELD AVENUE, KINGSTON, JAMAICA
THE NATIONAL ARENA
THURSDAY, MAY 21, 1981
HIS EMINENCE, ABOUNA YESSEHAQ
ARCHBISHOP OF THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Assisted by Priests and Deacons of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica
SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED IN GEEZ, AMHAIRIC AND ENGLISH
Below is some footage from his funeral and the events surrounding it. Ethiopian Orthodox clergy are visible at several points.