Miscellaneous Unification Stuff
Introduction to the Blessing Ceremony
New Realms of God's Presence
Through the Blessing given by the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, God is opening up new realms of His presence in the world.
God's true love can enter into every family in the love children have for their parents, the love of brothers and sisters, the conjugal love shared by husband and wife, and the love parents have for their children. These are the four great realms of heart.
God's power can enter through the love of grandparents, the love of parents, and the love of children, with a dignity the Bible attributes to true kings and queens. The "realm of the royal family" means that we all become relatives in one great family of humankind. Everyone in the human family has the dignity and grace of kings and queens, princes and princesses.
This is eternal true love within the family. Through the Blessing we renounce the false love which has polluted the human family throughout history, and commit together with God to building a world of true love. Based upon this commitment to God on your part, your marriage is an eternal marriage, as real in the spirit world as on earth. This is solemnized through four vows, through which you affirm that you will become:
--a true man or woman who practices sexual purity and life for the sake of others;
--a true husband or wife who respects True Parents' example and establishes an eternal family which brings joy to God;
--a parent who rears your children to follow the tradition of true love for the sake of the family and world; and
--an ideal family which contributes to world peace.
Explanation of the Blessing
The Blessing has five steps, each with its own purpose and significance. It is important to understand and appreciate the value of each.
Repentance and Forgiveness: The Chastening Ceremony
The Chastening Ceremony creates the foundation to cleanse the historical sin between men and women. In man-women relations, to one degree or another, we have all erred. So have our ancestors. In this ceremony, the husband and wife chasten each other three times from a position representing God. This simple act opens the door to God's forgiveness and grace. At the same time it is an occasion for the couple's mutual chastening and forgiveness. This allows us to begin a new life of pure love.
Grace for the Blessing: The Holy Wine Ceremony
God created man and woman to become true husbands and wives and to create ideal families through unselfish love. As we know from the biblical record, however, something went wrong in the beginning. The first parents created a dysfunctional, fallen family, in which disunity between parents and children, and intense sibling rivalry, led to murder. Such a family was clearly separated from God's love, life and lineage. We all are descended from the false parents of that family.
In the Holy Wine Ceremony, we make the spiritual transition from the lineage of false parents to that of the True Parents. Through this ceremony, we each are restored conditionally to the position of "original man" and "original woman," like Adam and Eve before the Fall.
In the ceremony, the officiator gives the Holy Wine to the woman. She bows to him and drinks half of it. She then gives the Holy Wine to her husband who bows to her and drinks the remainder. He bows and gives the empty cup to his wife who bows and returns it to the officiator.
The Spiritual Blessing of Marriage: The Holy Blessing Ceremony
The Holy Blessing is a simple and beautiful event. For betrothed couples, it is their wedding ceremony. For previously married couples it is a ceremony of re-dedication of their marriage and family to God.
The ceremony includes several traditional elements. One is a sprinkling of Holy Water. This represents the rebirth or renewal of the husband and wife together as a Blessed couple. Then there is a recitation of vows. Here the couples pledge to consummate the ideal of the creation of God as an eternal husband and wife, to rear their children to live up to the Will of God, and to love the people of the world as God does. Finally, the bride and groom exchange rings and the officiator offers a prayer and proclaims the participants husband and wife standing within the realm of God's original and eternal Blessing.
Thanksgiving: The Separation Period
The forty days following the Blessing is an historical time period for each couple. Just as Jesus began his mission on the foundation of forty days of fasting, couples who have received the Blessing are enjoined to offer a period of sexual abstinence for a period of forty days after the Blessing.
Many couples have discovered from experience that the Separation Period can be a significant step in the process of transformation and renewal. Sexual abstinence is an honored religious tradition. On the spiritual level, problems are often worked out during the Separation Period. Moreover, the act of love itself takes on a new dimension of sacredness after offering the period of separation.
Consummation of the Blessing: The Three-Day Ceremony
After the separation period, the couple together carry out the Three-Day Ceremony. This is the completion of sanctification, in which the couple is restored to the position of true husband and wife. Over a three-day period, the wife gives rebirth to her husband from the position of mother and then receives him in the position of wife. Then in the position of father, the husband gives rebirth to his wife and receives her in the position of husband. Through this process, God breathes into the couple a new conjugal life.
After the Blessing: Building a Harmonious World Community
The Blessing is not a quick-fix or cure-all. It is, for most participants, a profound experience of the living God and a profound new spiritual bond between husband and wife. Many experience God's presence for days, weeks and even months. But the bliss eventually subsides and the work of perfecting marriage continues. The difference after the Blessing is that, as a couple, you are working upon a greater spiritual foundation for marriage and family life.
You have also shared a very special experience with other couples in your home community and around the world. If the building blocks of community are shared experience, shared values and shared vision, this Blessing and the global relatedness it engenders contribute in a vital way to the emergence of a world embodying the ideals of true love and peace. The continued expansion of this community offers hope and vitality for the global human family in the new millennium.
How to Receive the Blessing
The Blessing is open to people of all races, nations and religions. For married couples, it simply requires understanding and affirming the Blessing vows. For betrothed couples and singles, virginity is required. For those who are not virgins, sexual abstinence is required from the time of Blessing application until the Blessing. Qualified singles may apply for Reverend and Mrs. Moon's selection of future spouse. Others may make arrangements for betrothal through their own families or religious communities. Participants, through their local churches are encouraged to make an offering in gratitude.
Does affirming the Blessing vows mean you become a member of the Unification Church? That is up to each couple and family to decide. The Blessing is a universal experience for those of all races, nations and religions and for all people of good conscience. It does not automatically make you a member of the Unification Church, nor is membership a prerequisite.
But a world community is exactly that -- a community. The community of Blessed couples is growing together as the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace. It is a non-sectarian organization founded in 1994 for those who are contemplating the Blessing and those who have received it.
The Reverend and Mrs. Moon officiated a global Blessing of 360,000 Couples in 1995. They soon will officiate an even larger Blessing, to be broadcast throughout the world by satellite. It will be the "I Do!" heard 'round the world. Those who are considering participation are encouraged to further prayer and study.
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