Unification News for
This is an unofficial document, which you may find helpful. A lot of people have worked on it. I offer it until something more official is set forth.
Men and women are meant to become true parents, giving birth to sinless children through godly true love. But we are not one with God, so we are incomplete parents, giving birth to imperfect children. We suffered as children who never received true love from our parents, and we pass our difficulties on to our own children. In our hearts, we long to separate from this lineage of immaturity and selfishness. Through Reverend and Mrs. Moon, God is now bestowing the chance to separate from this unhealthy inheritance and begin completely fresh in our marriage. This means that we can eradicate the lineage of the strife-filled world and create a healthy society, nation and world. We find that health, personally and socially, begins through the perfection of marriage. This is why the commitment to love each other truly within marriage, family and community is the universal value shared by all religions and ethical systems.
It is time to recover the original blessing of love. We believe that this is ours to have today. From that inner renewal of ourselves and our marriages, we can set a foundation for God's blessings to multiply upon our nation and to the entire world. Today, we can take the all-important first step to receive this Blessing. What follows is a simple and basic explanation about how to receive the Blessing.
Our undertaking begins with a commitment to marriage and its ethical and moral requirements. We invite married couples to support these affirmations of true love and practice them appropriately.
1. Affirming the eternal true love of husband and wife, we rededicate our marriage to God.
2. We will be faithful in marriage forever.
3. We will teach our children sexual purity.
4. We will support all people to uplift sexual purity and marital fidelity, beyond race, nation and religion.
For unmarried youths and singles, we offer the following affirmations and encourage you to think deeply upon them:
1. Affirming the necessity of sexual purity for my spiritual growth, I will refrain from all sexual relationships before marriage.
2. Following my conscience, when it is time for marriage, I will respect my parents' and/or spiritual elders' guidance in choosing my marriage partner.
3. I will serve as a good example in this for my brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends.
4. I will encourage others in these ideals, beyond race, nation and religion.
For unmarried youths and single, partaking of the holy wine represents one's commitment to these affirmations.
We then partake of a spiritual grace for the Blessing through the Holy Wine (Nectar) Ceremony.
The Holy Wine (Nectar) represents God's love, the original love of the world, which is the root of the lineage of goodness. God's love infuses new life into us as a couple. We are reborn as true parents, inheriting the love, life and lineage of God. This is the redemption of our bodies, as husband and wife together.
Following the Holy Wine or Nectar, pray in gratitude for separation from any wrong-doings of the past, from the evils of this world and its broken history, and for the chance to begin anew.
A sprinkling with Holy Water represents your renewal as a husband and wife standing together as a Blessed couple. Again pray, for the new life of yourself, your couple and the world. Joyfully honor the true love you are given to enjoy and take responsibility for as an eternal husband and wife.
In the Blessing, married couples can cleanse the sin committed between men and women. In man-woman relations, to some degree, we all have erred, as have our ancestors.
To end the resentment, guilt and shame within us, we repent and forgive each other. We symbolize this by gently and with love striking our partner's backside or shoulders three times. Carry this out with a light spirit, grateful for God's mercy and your spouse's understanding. First, the husband chastens his wife, three times. Next, the wife chastens her husband, three times. As we do this, we determine never to hit each other again.
By your participation in the Blessing for world peace, you are part of an historical event together with millions of couples all over the world under the love of God. It is the first step toward a destiny in marriage greater than we ever dreamed. What are the next steps? How do we really grow spiritually over the long term? How do we strengthen the spirit, resist temptations, and become true spouses and true parents?
We encourage couples to invest the forty days following the Blessing for the sake of spiritual renewal. The number forty represents purification and offering. Just as Jesus began his mission on the foundation of forty days of fasting, couples who have received the Blessing are asked to make a financial offering and offer a period of sexual abstinence for forty days. Let us consider the purpose of this. We live in an era of excessive permissiveness, justified by saying that human beings cannot control their sexual desires. The Family Federation rejects this demeaning view of the human being. Human beings differ from all other creatures because we are endowed by our Creator with the capacity to postpone sensual fulfillment for the sake of a higher ideal. This capacity for self-restraint allowed the great men and women of history and the world's great civilizations to emerge and prosper.
Civilizations collapse when self-indulgence rather than self restraint becomes the norm. The Family Federation laments that America, as a nation, is falling into a life style of self indulgence. We believe that one way we can respond to this is through showing exemplary commitment of husband to wife, wife to husband, and parents to children.
Putting our beliefs into practice, we married couples who have joined the Family Federation show a concrete example of self restraint to our children and society by voluntarily refraining from all sexual relations for the 40 days which immediately follow the Blessing. We realize that this sacrifice is small when we consider the exemplary followers of the great religions, who lived their lives in celibacy out of their commitment to God. It is also small when we think of the many young people who willingly gave their lives for their country without ever having the opportunity to marry or have a family, so that we might enjoy the blessings of freedom. We make this symbolic offering in respect of that tradition and in a sense of commitment to posterity.
The forty days also is a step in the process of transformation and renewal. It can be a time to re-evaluate, reflect upon and rebuild from the ground up. Even the strongest of marriages can get better, for we are people of love, and love is infinite. But the fact is that most marriages have suffered the stresses and strains of life in the world. This time to focus on renewal can help every marriage. Couples can treat is as reliving their time of engagement, sharing that excitement and anticipation. Marital problems often work out during this time, which is an opportunity for spiritual and marital growth. We offer the following plan for your consideration.
Forty days is six weeks, with the final "week" being five days long. We offer the following series of themes for your prayer, meditation, conversation and activity on a week to week basis. The questions are intended to be a guide for personal reflection. It helps to write down these reflections in the form of a letter to your spouse. It is also valuable to maintain a personal journal. We urge you to develop this outline with the resources of your faith community and personal exploration.
Recall and reflect upon your marriage from the first time you met until the time of the Blessing Ceremony. Remember the good and beautiful, and the bad and unhealthy. Explore the meaning of your common path as a couple, and be willing to learn from your marital history. On a larger scale, recall and reflect upon the history of your country, people and religious faith.
1. What situations in our marriage do I remember that built a strong loving relationship between us?
2. What situations in our marriage caused us pain and alienation?
3. How did we meet and develop our love?
4. What would I do differently if I had the chance?
Repent for what was bad and unhealthy. Strive to feel remorse for having caused grief and pain because of your failings and insensitivity toward your spouse. Take personal responsibility; do not blame. Know that through the love of God and your spouse, forgiveness is yours. Build the power to forgive your spouse and to accept forgiveness from God and your spouse.
On the larger scale, repent for what was bad and unhealthy in your country, people and religious faith.
1. How do I discover an objective view of myself in my marriage?
2. Am I able to make fundamental changes? Can I accept my spouse as he/she is, and look for the problem in myself?
3. Realizing my weaknesses, can I yet find the power to love? What is the source?
Recover what was good and beautiful. Strive to bring to light an understanding of our original potential as human beings before God. Develop a sense of gratitude for your spouse.
On the larger scale, recover what was good and beautiful, and develop a sense of gratitude for your country, people and religious faith.
1. What are areas of improvement in our marriage?
2. What are some issues or behaviors where I could make some positive changes?
3. In what respects could my partner change for the better?
4. What did I see first which I loved?
On the foundation of gratitude, develop a greater appreciation for your spouse. Based upon this, come to respect your spouse as you would respect the most noble and cherished person.
On the larger scale, develop a greater appreciation for your country, people and religious faith.
1. How can I develop a sense of awe and respect for my spouse? What does it mean to honor my partner?
2. How do I increase my appreciation for my spouse?
3. How can I show gratitude for my spouse?
4. How can I develop an awareness of the God-given qualities in my partner?
5. How do I detect situations of disrespect towards my spouse and how can I avoid those situations?
Through appreciation and respect, restore the original excitement, idealism and hope of your marriage. Acknowledge the need for healing your relationship as a couple and for turning healing efforts into positive patterns of behavior. Capture your original love. On the larger scale, restore the original excitement, idealism and hope of your country, people and religious faith.
1. How can I revive our love for each other?
2. How can I re-romanticize my marriage?
3. What new behavior will bring healing to past wounds?
4. What conditions need to be accomplished to indemnify past failings in our marriage relationship?
Determine to work from that point of original love forward, avoiding the mistakes which you committed before, and building upon the successes and strengths of your marriage. Develop a sense of higher purpose for marriage and strive to be motivated constantly by the assurance of God's blessing upon your marriage.
On the larger scale, determine to build upon the successes and strengths of your country, people and religious faith.
1. How can my love for God be applied in my love for my spouse?
2. How can I develop my faith that God desires to be present in our marriage relationship?
3. How can we agree upon daily conditions that will allow us to make marriage building a joyful daily activity?
4. How do we define a clear vision for our marriage? What is in my opinion a deeply satisfying marital relationship that would display our God-given original nature?
Through the final week, which is represented through three days, bring this process to a climax in which you re-create, and are re-created by, your spouse. The period of celibacy is complete and we renew the act of love as a re-creation of joy and holiness and of your very being as husband and wife.
On the larger scale, pray deeply for your country, people and religious faith, seeking God's guidance for the world.
What follows is an explanation of this three day's spiritual and physical celebration of true love between husband and wife.
Having completed the 40 day period, we are ready for the final step of the Blessing of marriage, a three day ceremony so joyful that it has been called the holy honeymoon.
Jesus said, "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father." For three consecutive evenings, blessed husbands and wives should meet in the privacy of their own bedrooms or a favorite place to offer a special prayer of thanks.
The two handkerchiefs given you are a souvenir gift of this Holy Blessing. They are color-coded with a pink spot for the wives' and a blue spot for the husbands'. They represent the purity of God's True Love. During the holy honeymoon, husband and wife each use his or her handkerchief each evening when bathing as a purification to prepare for a prayer of thanks. You should view this cleansing with the handkerchief as cleansing of the mind and body of past misconduct. Thank God for His gift of sexuality, which enables you to become one body with your beloved. More than any other part of your body, your sexual organ exists to bring joy to your beloved, and in that sense it belongs to your spouse more than to yourself.
As you are about to pray, greet each other humbly and respectfully in remembrance of the great commandments given by all religious and ethical teachers, to "love the Lord your God with all your heart . . ." and "love your neighbor as yourself." Begin with a prayer such as the Lord's Prayer or holy words of your faith. Then offer personal prayers of thanks and determination to create an eternal family centered on God's ideal for husbands and wives all over the world.
After the prayer is a time to enter into the most intimate and precious relationship of sexual love that only a husband and wife brought together by God may experience. The union of man and woman was meant to be sacred and joyful, but the sinful world has taken its toll on our marriages. Through this sacred union, you can renew the feeling of purity in love by coming together centered on the True Love of God. The husband should help his wife experience a new sense of self-esteem as God's Daughter and a Heavenly wife. He humbly encourages her to take a motherly leadership role in the prayers and in their sexual relationship during the first two nights. A husbands' identity as a man is strengthened and renewed by a true wife. The key for healthy families is for women to have a position of esteem and respect in the household. For this reason, on the first two evenings of the ceremony, the husband should be beneath the wife during the love act. Through this gesture, the husband indicates his recognition that his own spiritual growth and the family's prosperity come through his relationship with his wife. She is not only in the role of wife towards her husband but also in the role of mother. Most men hold their mothers in awe and they should do precisely the same with their wife. On the third evening the husband and wife consummate their marriage with the woman beneath the man. This symbolizes the man reaching true maturity to assume his proper position as the loving head of the family. To renew his dignity as a Son of God and a true husband, the wife supports him and respectfully follows his leadership in both the prayer and the act of love, from that moment and for always. Through the ceremony, both husband and wife receive a new commitment from each other, centering on God.
After their holy union on each of the three evenings, the couple offer prayers of thanksgiving that this most intimate of relationships is now centered completely on God, bringing joy to God, Heaven and Earth. We thank God for having taught all of us to become True Parents in our families centered on Heaven. At the conclusion of the third evening, dry your sexual parts with your Holy Handkerchief. Do not wash it, but store it safely as representing your eternal love life together. Please pray and reflect upon the meaning of this beautiful ceremony of love, and follow your heart and wisdom in creating through it the most holy, refreshing and powerful new birth in your blessed marital life. The whole three evenings should bring Glory and thanksgiving to God in the Highest. Amen!
During and following the forty days, we encourage you to do something for the sake of the public. For example, it is a wonderful time to speak to your children and friends about your renewed commitment as a couple and about your experiences of renewal. Your married friends may also want to participate in the Blessing. If the opportunity presents itself, consider sharing with adolescents at the local schools about premarital purity and marital fidelity. Too often students hear about abstinence but from people who have never intentionally practiced even one week of celibacy. Let them know that love is worth waiting for!
Congratulations and welcome!
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