An “International Joint Marriage Blessing Ceremony,” which is a trademark of the Unification Church, was held at the grass plaza of Sun Moon University on the 14th in Asan, a city in the Chungcheong Southern Province of South Korea.
25,000 members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification from six continents and 120 nations participated in this Blessing Ceremony which was held in commemoration of the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s 90th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his Holy Marriage to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
At this Marriage Blessing Ceremony, which was officiated by Reverend and Mrs. Moon, 2,500 couples were newly married and around 9,000 couples renewed their marriage, agreeing to strive to fulfill the ideal of the Blessing.
Brides and grooms from many nations around the world who were not able to attend the Blessing ceremony in person participated via satellite and internet broadcast.
The second daughter of former Korean president Cheong Hui Pak, Mrs. Geun Ryeong Pak, 55, and former chief director of the Educational Foundation, Mr. Dong Uk Shin, 41, who is currently a professor at Baek Seok Cultural University, participated in the Blessing ceremony.
Reverend Moon began the Marriage Blessing Ceremonies with 3 couples in 1960, 33 couples in 1961 and 72 couples in 1962, moving toward a goal of 400 million couples. In his address as the officiator of this ceremony, he asked the participants to “stand forth as men and women representing all 6 billion people on the earth and work to build a peaceful ideal world.” He asked that they “start the work of building peace and harmony centered on true love in the nests of their own families.” He expressed his gratitude to God for allowing him to “do the great work of binding people into citizens of one nation, brothers under God, overcoming the boundaries of race, nationality and religion.”
With the purpose of putting the couples’ past lives in order and reviving them anew, Reverend and Mrs. Moon sprinkled Holy Water on the brides and grooms in their reach while attendants around the plaza sprinkled Holy Water on everyone in attendance. Next, during the affirmation of vows, when Reverend Moon asked, “Do you pledge that, as mature men and women of goodness who are to perfect God’s ideal of creation, you will enter into an eternal bond of marriage and establish an ideal family which is essential to building the Heavenly Kingdom on earth an in heaven?” the participants pledged in unison: “Yes!”
250 participants of the International Leadership Conference attended the Blessing Ceremony, including Alfred Moisiu, former president of Albania, Rahim Huseynov, former prime minister of Azerbaijan, and Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, former prime minister of Barbados. Also in attendance were Eun Suk Shin, former president of the Korean Women Politicians League, Cheol Gi Lee, former head of Cheon Do Gyo, Gyeong Shik Kang, former National Assembly member, Deok Won Choi, president of Sun Cheon University, Sang Eun Seo, former mayor of Gumi. Everyone present pledged to take part in the formation of ideal families.
The Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Jun Ho Seuk, president of the Unification Church in Korea. The ceremony began with the reading of the Liberation Pledge and the Blessing Address by Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, world president of the Unification Church. Next, representatives of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Cheon Do Gyo gave their blessings to the couples.
When the great monk of the branch of Korean Buddhism that seeks to realize innate Buddhahood through silent meditation recited the Praja-Paramita, the guests put their hands together in Buddhist style. When Syed Isaac Gailani, a member of the Afghani parliament who represented Islam at the ceremony, prayed, everyone turned over their palms in Islamic style.
After the Holy Water Ceremony was the affirmation of vows, the benediction by Reverend Moon, the Ring Ceremony, the proclamation of the Blessing, a congratulatory song, and finally three cheers of Eog Mansei.
The second daughter of former Korean president Cheong Hui Pak, Mrs. Geun Ryeong Pak, 55, and former chief director of the Educational Foundation, Mr. Dong Uk Shin, 41, who is currently a professor at Baek Seok Cultural University, received the Blessing as participants and went on stage representing all the couples to give flowers to Reverend and Mrs. Moon.
Written by CIGn Reporting Team of FFWPU Korea. Translated by Tossa Cromwell for www.familyfed.org.