Articles from the August 1997 Unification News

Questions and Answers about the Upcoming Blessing

by Chris Corcoran-NYC

Since the World Culture and Sports Festival III is fast approaching, I thought it would be helpful to give a brief overview of the event, particularly the Blessing part, and raise some questions and answers which may help explain it.

The World Culture and Sports Festival III will be held this year in Washington, D.C., from November 23 to the 30th. The first two festivals were held in Seoul, Korea, in 19??.

Rev. and Mrs. Moon first presented their vision for the Festival just after the Summer Olympics of 1988. As they stated in the founding declaration, "There can only be a peaceful family of nations when you have nations of peaceful families."

Their statement summarizes the reason for the WCSF and should be the main starting point of any discussion about the Festival and/or Blessing.

Since the Festival is based on the ideal of establishing families that are dedicated to the service of God and mankind, it is fitting that the heart of each Festival has been the International Blessing Ceremony.

Couples from every corner of the globe-from almost every religion, race, nationality, and culture-make a sacred commitment in this Ceremony to practice true love as a way of life: empahsizing purity before marraige, fidelity within the marriage, and the eternal nature of marriage.

Here are some suggested speaking points concerning the Blessing.

What is the Blessing? The event in question is a marriage blessing and rededication ceremony. It is not a legal rite of marriage nor is it a conversion to the Unification religion.

What will it be known as? The official title is : "Blessing '97: Worldwide Movement for True Families".

Who are the sponsor(s) of the Blessing '97? The primary sponsor of the WCSF III, of which the Blessing is a part, is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Also, each of the participating organizations is a festival co-sponsor.

What are its main features?

Inter-religious: It is the only event in the world that gathers husbands and wives of all faiths for the purpose of voluntarily renewing their vows. It affirms the ideals of all religions.

World Peace: It has the unique goal of achieving world peace through the restoration of the family, beginning with the marriage partnership itself.

Marriage Culture: It promotes and strengthens the marriage culture by emphasizing God's new relationship to the married couple and by teaching an ideal family model. Families now have a clearer vision of how to achieve strong, healthy families.

What is the role of Rev. and Mrs. Moon? Rev. and Mrs. Moon are officiating and "sealing" the Blessing.

By what authority do Rev. & Mrs. Moon conduct this event? Jesus Christ called them to this mission and we believe they have the authority, given by God, to perform this ceremony. They have blessed hundreds of thousands of couples during the past 37 years, painstakingly laying the foundation to conduct this ceremony.

Are they the only ones able to officiate at one of these events? No, any couple, under the auspices of FFWPU, which has already received the Blessing is able to confer this on other couples.

How does one qualify to be Blessed? Any couple with an intact marriage and who agrees with the four vows can participate.

Why would someone participate? To renew their marriage and bring more of God's blessing into their marriage.

What is expected of those who participate? Those who participate are encouraged to join the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. This is a voluntary, international organization formed by Rev. and Mrs. Moon to bring together all Blessed couples for the purpose of promoting strong marriages and a new marriage culture. The main condition of membership is to keep their vows, i.e., no adultery, raise pure children and put God at the center of their family.

What happens to those who break from the program? What happens to anyone who breaks their vows? It is a very serious mistake that has far reaching consequences. However, we seek to heal problems and bring reconciliation. There are bound to be some problems, but by and large our marriages are much more successful than society's as a whole.

Aren't there some sort of ceremonies after this that the couple must participate in? Rev. Moon has not clearly spelled out what couples should do after this Blessing.

Will there be other similar events in the future? Yes, definitely. How soon? Rev. Moon has set a goal to bless 36 million couples by next year and 360 million by the turn of the century.

Why does the world need such an event? We have to solve the breakdown of the family if America, and the world, is to survive. So many problems, including drugs, criminality, sexual diseases and poverty are directly related to family breakdown. The only way to solve the breakdown of the family is to restore the sanctity of marriage. This event must be a cause, a crusade, to mobilize society to change.

Why 3.6 million couples? The number 360 symbolizes all humankind, just as the 360 degrees represents a circle. In 1995, Rev. and Mrs. Moon blessed 360,000 couples based on the same symbolic meaning.

When will Rev. and Mrs. Moon be satisfied? Sociology and psychology confirm the traditional religious and folk wisdom that healthy families-with no divorce or adultery-lead to a healthy society and world. Rev. and Mrs. Moon want to all people in our common quest to build a healthy world for our childfren.

What about single people or homosxuals? We are upholding the ideal of true love between a husband and wife as God's plan. We realize that there are many good people who, for whatever reason, do not practice this. We are not doing this to judge other peoples' lifestyles but rather to bring together and strengthen the family of man.

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