Thousands of Unificationists, including True Parents’ family, and hundreds of religious dignitaries from a wide variety of faiths, gathered at the Cheongshim World Peace Center to commemorate the 5th anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa (ascension) and to celebrate the Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
With the theme “Becoming the Light of the World Through a Filial Heart for Heaven,” the Seonghwa Festival celebrated True Father’s life and heart through hyojeong culture (culture of a filial heart), as the program was filled with music, dancing, and singing by Unificationists of all races and nationalities conveyed the significance of True Parents and the foundation of peace in their teachings.
FFWPU President of Korea, Rev. Kyung Seuk Ryu, gave the opening remarks as he reflected on the unwavering dedication and commitment of True Father to build a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and the consequent importance of True Mother as she is still physically with the Unificationists.
FFWPU International Vice President, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, then provided the invocation, delivering a heartfelt prayer in commemoration of True Father’s life course. With the guidance of True Parents of Heaven, Earth, and Humankind as the key to understanding God’s heart and to bring Him joy, Dr. Kim said, we, as children of God must live a life of hyojeong, a filial heart.
As comprehensive videos detailing the life of True Father played on screen, those in attendance remembered the passion, relentlessness, and devotion of True Father, while the Unificationist couples to be wed later that day remembered the foundation of their impending Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony: True Parents.
Sun Jin Moon, FFWPU International President, then gave a moving message in which she, as a daughter of True Parents, recognized their filial heart toward God while expressing her desire to express and practice this same heart to Heavenly Parent and True Parents. Although a part of God and True Parents’ heart has been inundated with tears as they yearn for all of humanity to return to God’s embrace, the FFWPU International President urged that as children of God, we shift to an era of joy for True Parents and the Heavenly Parent. “Father. we rejoice on this day remembering your life with pure joy and complete eternal love and gratitude,” said Sun Jin Moon. “We pray that your peace shall be restored and all life will be returned to balance with the power of true love.” (Read her message)
Following her daughter’s message, True Mother was ready to take the stage to remember her husband and to officiate the Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony. The Seonghwa Festival and the Marriage Blessing generally have differing external meanings. However, according to the religious tradition of the FFWPU, the Marriage Blessing is a ritual ceremony commemorating the birth of a pure family centered on God, as a believer who has been reborn as a true son or daughter of God. According to the teachings of True Mother, the Seonghwa Festival is a ceremony to celebrate a departed individual’s new journey into the spiritual world, the eternal world. The common point is that this is a starting point of regeneration, resurrection and new life.
The 2017 Hyojeong International Marriage Blessing Ceremony is an international mass marriage ceremony that transcends national boundaries, races, cultures, languages and religions, creating a new eternal bond between couples. True Father said “This marriage blessing is the most precious thing in my life. For all of you, the best gift ever since history is marriage blessing.” In order to achieve the peace ideology centered on God of “One Family under God,” the marriage blessing wedding ceremony was directly officiated by True Parents from the 36 couples in 1961, onward. After the Seonghwa of True Father, True Mother has continued to officiate the ceremony until now.
The 2017 Hyojeong International Marriage Blessing Ceremony included 4,000 brides and bridegrooms from 64 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Nepal, Russia, Argentina, Colombia, Jordan, Sudan, the Republic of South Africa, as well as 20,000 couples from 194 countries, also participated through live Internet broadcast, totaling up to 24,000 couples attending worldwide.
Through this event, the FFWPU created an opportunity to unite all Unification members from around the world who are realizing the ideal of the world, and is expected to reexamine the footsteps and accomplishments of the peace movements of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who have dedicated themselves fully toward the realization of world peace and human salvation.
True Mother smiled with joy as she had representative couples on stage, conducting the Holy Water Ceremony, handing them the rings for the ring ceremony, reading the vows to finalize their Blessings while True Father’s voice played in the background as he his prayer finalized their marriage.