Articles From the September 1995 Unification News
The International Holy Wedding
by Marie Ang-Seoul, Korea
August 25, 1995, the day of the world-wide Blessing of 360,000, was here after many months of both spiritual and physical preparation from 160 nations! The day dawned in the "Land of the Morning Calm" with a third day of heavy continuous rain. One could sense Heavenly Father was washing clean the earth for such an occasion and baptizing these couples with heavenly rain.... It poured!
As we entered the stadium, we saw row after row of umbrellas which were covering the brides and grooms encircling the stadium. Each person was given a bag with a drink and a cake in it. So we found our way to some seats and proceeded to just take in the awesomeness of this day and the meaning it had for each couple.
As I gazed out at these precious brothers and sisters, I thought of how this moment is changing each life forever. There was a wide spectrum of age represented, from the young second-generation couples who have known no other faith, to the more mature and even elderly persons, wearing the wedding dress or white Korean dress with a wedding veil, was quite a unique scene.
Just before True Parents entered the stadium to officiate at the ceremony, the rains virtually stopped and the sky lightened. The brides and bridegrooms removed their raincoats and took down their umbrellas, making a panoramic view of contrasting dark and white throughout the stadium.
Rev. Young Whi Kim was the presiding Master of Ceremonies, and after the Ceremony Prelude by the Universal Wind Ensemble, Rev. Kim opened the Ceremony followed by the salute to the national flags. A ceremony address was given by Rev. Kwak in which he said: "Marriage does not mean a mere coming together of man and woman, but creates the basis to determine all humankind's peace and happiness. Today is therefore a day of joy being celebrated all over the world. It is an historic day when 720,000 men and women from 160 nations of the world attend God as their common parent, and begin their lives anew as true families centered on God's true love." Following this address, Rev. Chan Kyun Kim prayed the opening prayer.
Then emerging down the steps to the platform were the attendants, lining the entrance for our True Parents. As our True Parents entered this huge stadium, my mind flashed back to a humble little blessing in a house in Washington, D.C. over twenty-five years ago of which my husband and I were a part. Now True Parents were walking down these steps to bless couples all over the world!
First came the Holy Water ceremony, where Father and Mother sprinkled Holy Water over a representative group of couples from the second generation. At the same time, one could see elder blessed couples walking up and down the rows of brides and bridegrooms, sprinkling the couples with the Holy Water.
True Father then read the wedding vows, and in response to Father's questions, the resounding YE filled the stadium! Then True Father prayed a deep, passionate prayer one could feel going out to the world.
Three representative couples entered the stage as the couples exchanged the wedding rings. And following this beautiful time of giving, our True Parents read the proclamation of the Holy Wedding, proclaiming these couples now blessed in holy matrimony.
There were then congratulatory addresses given by Mr. Man Sub Lee, former chairman of the National Assembly, and also the Rt. Honorable Edward Schreyer, former Governor General of Canada.
Then the congratulatory song, "World of Love," written by Kevin Pickard, was sung by Gloria del Paraguay, Raoul Joseph and Miyuki Harley. This was followed by the presentation of flowers and gifts to our True Parents.
The brides and grooms then greeted the True Parents and guests with bows. And our True Parents led cheers of Mansei, again filling the stadium with tremendous roars in unison.
As our True Parents left the stage, a fine mist began to fall. Across the field, a crew of workers were desperately trying to get a hot-air balloon to rise with a banner, but it was just too humid to get up very far.
The grand finale was colorful, noisy and festive as balloons rose to the sky, and fireworks and firecrackers filled the air and sky. And all across the stadium one could see the continuous flashes like sparkling diamonds, from the cameras as brothers and sisters were taking pictures.
There were then congratulations being offered to the newly blessed couples, and pictures being taken. Some families were getting together with their lunch baskets and sharing food.
Each couple will have its own story to share with their friends and, later on, their own children. It's a new beginning, a new life, being engrafted into the lineage of our True Parents.
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