Articles From the September 1995 Unification News
New York's Satellite Blessing
by Peter Ross-NYC
This holy day, bond of love forever more! Hallelujah, glorious day of joy!
The classical form of the New Yorker's Grand Ballroom, enhanced by its bountiful spiritual heritage, has made of it a sanctuary that the devout of any religious tradition would deem an accommodating worship site. Not even such a symbol of modern technology as a giant screen upon its stage could detract one smidgen from its holiness. For 250 couples gathered on the evening of August 24, it certainly fit the bill. There they stood in this inner sanctum, their orderliness completing a harmony of strength and beauty. And silently, prayerfully, they waited.
For some it had been a long wait. For others it was happening so suddenly! Yet, throughout the day they had conjoined together via the rich and sacred component aspects of the Blessing ceremony. Now, together, they waited. Considering the technological logistics involved in securing a live link with Seoul, the old maxim about the devil being in the details came to mind, and if not to any of the participants, then certainly to the minds of those on the organizing committee! For the route the signal had to travel seemed, now in these quiet moments, fraught with so much peril. From Seoul the signal was to be dispatched to an international satellite orbiting the earth somewhere way out there! Amidst the tension reminiscent of watching the American sprint squad transfer the baton in the final leg of the 4 by 100 meters relay, this moving international satellite was to pass on its charge over Brewster, Washington, to an American "bird" (SBS-6, transponder 1, horizontal on the KU band no less!). From there heaven's blessings were to be showered throughout the land as one grand national fireworks display, accessible to anyone with a satellite dish. This cross-over between science and religion gave new meaning to Einstein's statement about the inter-dependency of science and religion.
The link with Seoul was safely secured after only just a moment of anxious hesitation. And soon the ballroom was transposed to Seoul. Following the scan of the camera around the stadium everyone could quickly become familiar with their new surroundings. The police band in the Olympic Stadium entertained everyone. And the sudden appearance of a rain-drenched face of a Korean staff member, momentarily shocked to be caught looking into the camera from a pace away, provoked fits of universal laughter. And the rain! Yet here in New York we were all so warm and dry. But in these opening moments the connections of heart and mind were so real that a chorus of You Are My Sunshine broke out among the couples in the ballroom. As it had worked almost 20 years before during Rev. Moon's Yankee Stadium speech, yet again this hearty singing caused the rain to subside and right on cue as the officiants entered the stadium.
As Reverend and Mrs. Moon conducted the Holy Water ceremony in Seoul, their assistants in New York, suitably dressed in white robes, moved among the couples in the ballroom and sprinkled holy water with generous and deliberate intent. They reached to the very back corners so that even the shyest couple smiled as the refreshing droplets evoked a spontaneous shudder of delight. This proved sober preparation for those assembled to join together with 359, 750 other couples and to affirm their Blessing vows. In doing so, they pledged in unison to dedicate their love to God and to serve in love their respective communities for the noble cause of world peace. Reverend Moon offered in prayer this entire ceremony to God and called upon God to bless these couples and their families that their tradition of love might yet renew a troubled world.
Moving from this most public display of their commitment, each participant then turned to their spouse and in the exchange of rings affirmed their eternal commitment to each other. In such a personal and intimate moment, each couples' expressions and actions were a delight! A beautiful and vibrant Israeli couple kissed each others hand after placing the ring on each other's fingers and spontaneously offered each other a reverential bow. An elderly couple smiled at each other, summoning the full bounty of their life-long love and replenishing it through the grace endowed by this occasion. A young American husband pointed out his family up in the balcony to his European wife and she was immediately secured within the family's loving embrace. Through the un-translated speeches of congratulations offered in Seoul, the delight continued and in the language of love nothing was lost.
In conclusion, Reverend and Mrs. Moon then led all 360,000 couples world-wide in the traditional cheer of Mansei, Mansei, Mansei. And victory for ten thousand years it will be! In 1977, while speaking about how the restoration of God's ideal could yet be realized, Reverend Moon said:
To accomplish [this], you must discover the extraordinary power of love, love that does not become the circumstantial victim of society. Supreme love transcends every national, racial, and cultural barrier. People have always talked about love, but human love alone will never accomplish the task of universal unity. Therefore, we rally around one love - the love and heart of God.... The East and West are meeting here today, not merely because we want to see each other for personal reasons, but because the heart of God is linking us into one.
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