Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Richard Clarke has paid tribute to the late Seamus Mallon.
He said Mr Mallon was "by profession a teacher and then a politician, a leader and risk-taker".
He continued: "He was an outspoken opponent of violence, who saw a better way of living if the people of this island learned to understand each other better.
"He was a peacemaker firmly committed to building a better future for all.
"My sympathy and prayers are extended to his family and colleagues at this sad time."
The Primate made the comments as he took part with other Church of Ireland bishops on Saturday in the consecration of the new Bishop of Down and Dromore the Rt Rev David McClay at a service in St Anne's Cathedral.