The Words of the Yang Family
National Seung Hwa Ceremony for Jin Joo Ellen Byrne a Daughter of Goodness and Beauty
Chang Shik Yang and Michael Jenkins
September 4, 2002
Dearly Beloved, we gather here on this occasion to honor a life that was lived for the sake of others. Our beloved Sister Jin Joo Byrne is now making her journey to the eternal world that awaits us all. It is fitting and proper that we gather here to memorialize Jin Joo and to deepen our understanding of the purpose, meaning and value of life. Over the last few days we have been traumatized, shocked and filled with many emotions. Total shock and anger, along with remorse, sadness and sorrow have been experienced.
Now we turn to you Heavenly Father in this hour of trial, in this serene and holy sanctuary to seek inner peace in a world deeply violent and torn asunder. We prayerfully ask now that you remove any resentment and ill feelings we might harbor and allow us to become filled with inner peace and meaning.
At this time we ask that you send your holy spirit, to comfort her family, Martin and Isabella Byrne and all her brothers and sisters, Sonia, Christine, Jacob and Tarik, as well as her spouse Young Daniel Graml and all family and relatives. We also ask that you comfort and strengthen all the young people of STF and all of our Family Church throughout America who loved Jin Joo. We are grateful to you, Martin and Isabella, first for the way that you demonstrated in your hour of greatest darkness that you still hold on to the light. Jesus said to the woman who touched his garment, Thy faith has made thee whole. We say to you Martin and Isabella, your faith has made us all whole.
Brothers and Sisters we have gathered for a National Seung Hwa Ceremony. The Seung Hwa Tradition was originally to begin when True Parents went to the spirit world. However, due to the sacrifice of Heung Jin Nim our True Parents' second son, a World Level Seung Hwa ceremony was initiated at Belvedere and at the Little Angels School in Korea. It is only because of Heung Jin Nim's sacrifice for True Parents that the tradition of the Seung Hwa Ceremony could begin. Based on his dedication and establishment of unity and order in the Spirit world, blessed members can now receive the foundation of the Seung Hwa Ceremony.
Until the establishment of the Seung Hwa the passing of a loved one was seen as a sad occasion in which to mourn. However, the Seung Hwa Ceremony is the celebration of the commencement of one's life as an exclusively spiritual being. According to the Principle, the Seung Hwa Ceremony is to be regarded as more beautiful, enlightening, and joyful than even the Blessing ceremony.
There are three basic phases to the Seung Hwa Ceremony. Although they are collectively referred to as the "Seung Hwa Ceremony," the farewell greetings which the immediate family (and trinity) shares with the elevated spirit are called the Gwi Hwan Ceremony (or "returning to joy"); the service held for the elevated spirit by family and friends is termed Seung Hwa Ceremony, (or "ascension and harmony"); the burial service is referred to as the Won Jeun Ceremony (or "returning home/to the palace").
The character for "seung" means "ascending, elevation." The character "hwa" has meanings of 'harmony and peace At Heung Jin Nim's Seung Hwa True Father gave the following words: I'd like to make a very clear announcement that will set the tradition of our movement and our church. In the secular world, death signifies the end of life. However, in our world, death is like a rebirth or a new birth into another world. Particularly those who give their life for the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven and for the sake of the movement are special heroes.
For that reason, we must not make those occasions gloomy or sad or feel discouraged. Instead we shall rejoice in the victory of the spirit in which that life was given for the mission. If we here on earth become very mournful and gloomy it is like pulling the person who is going up to the heavens down to the ground This is a birth from the second universal mother's womb into another world, just like when a baby emerges from its first mother's womb. A Seung Hwa Ceremony is actually comparable to a wedding, when men and women get married. It's not a sorrowful occasion at all. It's like a butterfly coming out of the cocoon, getting rid of a shackle and becoming a new body and a new existence, a new entity. That's exactly the same kind of process.
In our way of life and tradition, spirit world and physical world are one, and by our living up to that kind of ideal, we bring the two worlds together into one.
How can we celebrate Jin Joo's beautiful life and understand the meaning of such a tragic moment? How can we gather strength, meaning and value from this precious child who True Father has immortalized as God's "Daughter of Beauty and Goodness."
To comprehend this moment in time let us relate with God and bind ourselves to God's infinitely deep heart of love. Let us now connect our hearts to God and our True Parents who have shed an endless river of tears to restore humanity. When we look at God's history we see that the course of Jin Joo is that of God's path. It is a path of sacrifice. The great transitional moments in history all began with tragedy. Yet in the midst of tragedy God was able to bring blessing and victory. How? When a pure sacrifice could be given God could exercise his authority and power to bring great transformation in the people. This was the course of Jesus, who Saint Stephen stated in the Book of Acts was betrayed and murdered.
Yet in that tragic circumstance Jesus transcended the cross that led to death and opened a path that leads to resurrection that brings life. How did life emerge from death? Because of purity and love. In the midst of his immense suffering Jesus transcended the hatred of the world saying "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
Love is the power that brings life. Jesus was pure, with no sin or malice. Therefore his purity and sacrificial love allowed him to create a path out of the darkness into life. However, we see that in these tragic moments love is not passive. It must be aggressively applied to the wounds of history to bring healing. Love must be given to allow its full power to shine. Look at Jesus upon the cross. Did God feel an explosion of anger, torment and wrath? Yes, the cross was not a peaceful tranquil setting. The scripture said that from the 6th hour to the 9th hour the sun was darkened and the earth quaked and fear came upon the people. Don't you think God wanted to destroy everything at that moment? So it is natural that during our process of transforming tragedy into hope that we pass through darkness. But Jesus applied love and said, Father forgive them. From that moment of purity and love, darkness was transformed into light.
Such is the testimony that we find with Heung Jin Nim. Out of tragic and horrifying circumstances True Father aggressively applied love and transformed this moment of loss and sorrow into one of life, hope and victory for God. When we first heard of Heung Jin Nim's accident, our collective shock, sorrow and pain was immense. Many of us were there at Belvedere when Heung Jin returned. Though their pain, shock and remorse was something we cannot begin to understand, True Father and Mother braced themselves and showed absolute unwavering gratitude to God in such a circumstance and proclaimed love and forgiveness for all humanity. True Parents walked this path together with Heung Jin Nim. Therefore the sacrifice, which was pure and selfless became a turning point in which True Father could send Heung Jin Nim victoriously into the Spirit World as a General to prepare the way for the Heavenly Kingdom to come.
As so it is now with Jin Joo. Father has made her Seung Hwa a National Level Seung Hwa. Father, upon hearing about Jin Joo's sacrifice, also said that a National Level Seung Hwa cannot be given easily. If the person receiving such National Level honor cannot be recognized as a person who truly lived for the nation, when they get to the spirit world, they will not be recognized naturally and this title would become a great burden. Therefore she can only be given such a title because, she representing our beloved Second Generation could give her life on the front live while serving the nation. She gave her life gloriously on this great march with True Parents and Hyun Jin Nim into the Settlement Age.
When Father heard about Jin Joo he also said, we should realize that we all make this journey. We are all going to the Spirit World. The question is, with what spirit do we make this transition? It is made with absolute faith, love and obedience to heaven. Is it made while living for the sake of humanity. If it is, then it becomes a time of joy and celebration. This is the case with Jin Joo. Heaven is celebrating now because a saint is now about to arrive in heaven. Thank you second generation for this example for all of history to mark and remember. When Father began the 50 state tour, there was serious concern over the fact that the enormous strain of such a grueling schedule could be life threatening. Father's response was that that would be how he wanted to die -- on the front line. Not in a bed but on the front line of the battlefield for God. I witnessed myself that death was waiting for Father on the 50 state trail but with such a heart he transformed death into to life and from that heart Christianity has resurrected to lead the blessing movement for heaven.
So it is, my brothers and sisters, that Jin Joo, a child of purity and innocence, born without original sin, now steps on to the stage of history. She has been elevated to this National Seung Hwa because of purity and sacrifice. Father gave her the title of "Daughter of Goodness and Beauty." Mansei. Such a sacrifice is beyond normal. It is not something we want to do. It is not an easy transition. However everything, family, life and all that goes with it was sacrificed by Jin Joo for the sake of Heaven.
How can we best honor her? We can best glorify her by marking this day in history and saying that from this sacrifice we will rush forward toward the Kingdom that she gave her life for. We as first and second generation will bind our hearts to True Parents, Hyun Jin Nim and all of heaven to resolve that we will roll back the darkness of history and upon this glorious altar we will bring in the light of the Kingdom of Heaven. Her sacrifice will spur in us an increased devotion to the cause of Heaven that this Elder Son Nation and the World will be much more quickly transformed into the Cheon Il Guk, the Kingdom of True Love, True Life and True Lineage. The Kingdom of True Families and True Peace.
This morning we gather in the quiet of this sanctuary to pay our last tribute of respect to this beautiful child of God. She entered onto the stage of history just a few years ago, and in the brief years that she was privileged to act on this mortal stage, she played her part exceedingly well. Now the curtain falls; she moves through the exit; the drama of her earthly life comes to a close and she begins her glorious eternal life forever and evermore. Amen.
Benediction (offered by Dr. Yang, North America Continental Director)
Almighty God, the Origin of True Love, True Life and True Lineage of all Humankind, and Beloved Parents of Heaven and Earth, Today, September 4th, 2002, we are sending our beloved daughter Jin Joo Byrne to Heaven, our eternal home. True Father blessed her and named her The Daughter of Goodness and Beauty. On her journey into the spirit world, she is holding in front of her True Parents' special banner with this new title that True Father inscribed for her.
Based on God's providence, she was born in Kodiak, Alaska. She grew up on the continent of America and traveled the world. She was called to heaven while True Parents were in Kodiak, Alaska, her original birthplace. She was working on the frontline, practicing the truth, following God's providence and living for the sake of others. Jin Joo is going to Hometown as a Filial Daughter and a Martyr. Beloved Heavenly Father, we are sending Jin Joo to You from this National Level Seung Hwa ceremony. Please warmly welcome her Home in this special Settlement Age.
Jin Joo, your name means "Pearl." In the spirit world, centering on Heung Jin Nim, please be a real pearl and shine your light brightly both day and night, becoming a beacon for all Second Generation. Please work to eliminate all conflict, hatred and struggles that exist because of this fallen world. Please be a pioneer to build a Nation of true love, hope and harmony.
Jin Joo, you are going to a completely new world where there is no sickness or death, only happiness and joy. While on your way, if you have any difficulty, please show the banner that True Parents have given you and shout out that you are the daughter of True Parents.
Jin Joo, if anyone asks you who you are, please tell them you are a proud Second Generation blessed couple and a new pioneer of this new Age. Jin Joo, I am sure that Heung Jin Nim will send a special emissary to guide you and that the Lord Jesus, the founding Fathers of this nation, and the saints and sages will be there to give you a red carpet welcome.
Please be confident and courageous.
I report and bless all of this in the name of Chang Shik Yang, Continental Director, a Blessed Central Family, Amen.
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