The Words of the Tsubata Family
Family Building And Peace Building Combine Marriage Blessing Crosses Enemy Lines
July 5, 2007
On July 5, the 2007 Cross Cultural Marriage Blessing was held at the Cheonan Sports Complex, as part of the larger World Culture and Sports Festival. Some 1,634 brides and grooms from many nations had gathered to receive a Blessing of peace upon their unions by the officiating couple, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Simultaneous video and internet feeds allowed thousands of bridal couples around the world to participate in the Blessing in more than 180 nations and cities.
Rev. Moon has held large scale wedding ceremonies since 1960, the date of his own marriage to Hak Ja Han, and is the unquestioned champion not only of numbers of couples he has married, but of initiating the concept of bringing peace between enemy groups by matching couples whose nations are current or historic enemies, saying "How could anyone harbor antagonism toward, much less point weapons at, a nation which many millions of grandchildren from their own lineage make their home?"
For 32 years, the Blessings increased in number, from 3 couples, 36, 72, 120, 430, 777, 1800, 8000, up to 30,000 couples at a single ceremony. Then, in 1992 Rev. Moon surprised members of his own movement by opening up the Blessing to people of every faith, and to those already married.
Couples commit to four vows, including constant faithfulness to each other, raising children to be pure for their own future spouses, establishing a Godly family life, and working for the goodness of the larger society.
For the July 5 event, more than 200 couples were in attendance, and many more by internet, representing the second generation of Blessing for their families. These youth were born and raised by parents who were themselves Blessed, and who are committing their lives to the same values of creating world peace, starting in the family.
More than half of these couples had been matched by Rev. Moon. Following the tradition of their faith, most of these have offered a 7-day fast, and will not consummate their marriages for 40 days, as a way of consecrating their hearts first to God.
Former president of the Republic of Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, recounted how his own nation's initial euphoria with freedom from the totalitarian grip of communism 15 years ago has faded as the difficulties of creating a truly peaceful society have become clear. "At that time we were so happy because of our new-found freedoms. But looking back now, fifteen years later, I can say that freedom alone is not enough: we must have strong families and a strong moral structure if our nations are to prosper."