The Words of the Salonen Family
On Sunday, October 18, we had barely gotten to sleep when at 12:45 am we were awakened with the news that the Master was on his way from Seoul and that he wanted to perform the Sacred Wine Ceremony when he arrived. Everyone got up and began to bathe and get dressed when word came that the Leader would be with the Japanese couples all night and we Westerners would have our ceremony after the 5:00 am pledge service instead. The excitement in the air was very strong, but we all went back to bed for a few hours.
At 5:30 am, following our pledge service, our Parents, Mrs. Choi and Mr. Kim came to us in the large room in our quarters. The Sacred Wine Ceremony was held, the second most important step in the process of our blessing in marriage. The significance of this ceremony is the changing of our lineage to the True Parents, the conditional elimination of original sin, or resurrection through divine love. For us the ceremony took about 20 minutes; after congratulating each other we slept for a few more hours (but our Parents continued two and a half more hours with the Japanese couples).
At 11:00 we got into our bus and went into Seoul for a television program. Two couples were interviewed briefly, we all sang together two Korean songs “Arirong" and Tong-il and Gladys, Jack and Bonnie ' (Las Vegas Family) performed. After we returned to the factory we had another song practice, and after dinner we continued to prepare for another television program the next day.
That evening the brides received their wedding clothes. We were all delighted with the beauty of the gowns, but we had to spend some time and do considerable experimenting to learn how to wear traditional Korean dress -- head to foot, and inside out. (Korean socks had to be made especially for some of us, since Western feet range beyond standard Korean sizes.)
We were up at 5:30 on Monday, October 19, to be in Seoul for a 7:30 television program (The Morning Show). Western couples plus one Japanese and one Korean couple. With our Parents' permission, the brides wore their wedding dresses. The program lasted an hour, and we took up about 40 minutes with singing, introducing each couple, and having Jack, Gladys and Bonnie sing a song
Following a quick change of our clothes, Miss Kim guided us to Yonsei University, where we were received by the University's President Park and Dr. Underwood, grandson of the founder. We heard from them about the growth of Yonsei. (one of Korea's "Big Four" universities) and about their plans for the future, Dr, Underwood, who speaks both Korean and English fluently, also told us his impressions of Korean culture. After leaving Yonsei we had a brief tour through the campus of Ewha University (where Miss Kim taught).
We had a lunch of sandwiches and fruit on our bus and then went to a semi-classical Korean movie, after which Miss Kim took us to see the beautiful royal palace, Chung-Duk. We spent several hours walking through the palace grounds and buildings. Miss Kim told us that the last: Korean crown prince died this year after a lifetime as an exile in Japan. All the rest of the royal family had been annihilated when the Japanese occupied Korea. The palace remains as a museum. We were moved in seeing this example of the beauty of Korean culture.
Afterward, Miss Kim took us for a snack of soup and rice before we went to the public bath (which we were all looking forward to). After dinner, back at the factory, Mr. Won Pil Kim, our Leader's first disciple, told us something about his years with the Master -- emphasizing our Leader's continuing years of sacrifice and struggle.
Mr. Kim said that our Leader's words are so powerful because he actualized them; they are not words alone but have the depth of accomplishment behind them. When we follow the example of his life and shape ourselves after his standard of goodness, we can be one with his words.
On Tuesday, October 20, we got up early and practiced together the songs we planned to sing for the wedding reception the next day. Later we heard reports of the work in Germany (Inge Meyer), Syria (Carlo Zaccarelli), Jordan (June Darby), and Lebanon (Remi Blanchard).In the afternoon, the 777 Korean, Japanese and Western couples all gathered in the yard in front of the factory dormitories for wedding rehearsal, conducted by the Master in Japanese and Korean, with Miss Kim translating for us. After a total of five run-throughs, our Leader decided we all had the idea, and we were dismissed until the next day. After dinner, the brides received their veils, with some flutter.
We were free in the evening to make last-minute preparations for the next day. Many of us went to the Holy Ground at the factory to pray together and prepare our hearts for the blessing.