The family of Nelson Mandela listened late Tuesday as the archbishop of Cape Town offered a prayer asking that the former South African president be granted a "peaceful, perfect end."
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where for nearly three weeks the 94-year-old has been getting treatment for a lung infection.
There was no update on his health early Wednesday. The latest report from the government said Mandela remained in critical condition.
Relatives gathered at Mandela's home Tuesday in Qunu, in Eastern Cape province.
South African media reports said his children called the meeting to discuss important family matters -- presumably related to his failing health.
Officials and family members said last week that Mandela appeared to be improving, but the reports turned grim on Saturday, when the government said his condition was critical.
South Africa's minister of international relations said Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will not meet with Mandela during his upcoming visit to South Africa.
A White House spokesman would not speculate Monday about how Mandela's health might impact the Obama visit. Jay Carney said only that the president "continues to look forward to the trip" adding that Obana sees Mandela as one of his heroes.