Creating a World of Peace - The Thought and Works of Sun Myung Moon by Joon Ho Seuk

Volume 4 - Marriage, the Blessing and World Peace [Part 4 of 5]

4. The Blessing

"In the final fulfillment of human history, therefore, God's work of restoration is the restoration of True Parents first, liberating humanity from its orphan status. Today this is the central dispensational work of God -- to bestow True Parents upon mankind, to create the original family of man centering on God and true love."
Sun Myung Moon

A. Introduction

The Blessing ceremonies conducted by Reverend and Mrs. Moon are intended to restore the mistakes of the past, address the social problems of the present and hasten the realization of God's ideal of creation. They lie at the very core of his plan to realize world peace.

Over the past several years, hundreds of millions of couples worldwide have declared or renewed their marriage vows in Blessing ceremonies in which they ask God's blessing on their families. The Blessing ceremony represents a new beginning for a purified marriage relationship, centered on God's true love.

By participating in the marriage Blessing, couples affirm their commitment to God and to each other. Reverend Moon has explained that the term "Blessing" refers to the fact that had Adam and Eve reached perfection, their union would have been blessed by God.

Origin of "Blessing"

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
Why do we term the marriage ceremony "to receive the Blessing"? According to the Principle, if Adam and Eve had not fallen and had become perfected, they would have stood in the position to receive the Blessing.
In other words, they were to be the substantial objects of God. Once they were perfected, they would have been objects who totally received love from God as the subject.
Through their Blessing, or marriage, God's love would have appeared in the world.

The Blessing ceremony itself is quite simple on an external level but, for officiators and participants alike, it is imbued with profound meaning. Couples gather together at an appropriate place, vows are recited, rings are exchanged, and prayers are offered to bless and protect the couples who have taken these vows.

The vows emphasize the couples' willingness and readiness to serve the will of God, to make a commitment to true love, fidelity and permanency in marriage and to serve the cause of world peace.

Why Conduct Blessing Ceremonies

Why Reverend Moon Conducts Blessing Ceremonies From "The Path to World Peace in View of God's Will," New York, NY, October 20, 2001.
The international Blessings that I promote worldwide are not the wedding ceremony of a particular religion. They are a movement to save all nations and the world. We teach youth to keep their purity before marriage and, when they reach adulthood, to marry under the Blessing of God.
However, as a condition to receive the marriage Blessing, they first must pledge to their spouse that they will maintain absolute trust and fidelity as husband and wife. Thus, the Blessing is a holy movement to build true families and lift up true parents who live centered on true love.
Families built upon such an ideal and such education have no need to feel threatened by the AIDS virus. For them, preventing AIDS is easier than preventing a cold or flu. If we educate the youth of the world in this vision and practice it, we will completely eliminate the AIDS epidemic. We will eliminate the scourge of family breakdown as well.
Further, these families of true love will serve as the cornerstone for peaceful nations and a peaceful world. In particular, if individuals of enemy nations, who have lived in discord throughout history, come together in true love as in-laws, their reconciliation will bring nations and races together. It is a high wall to overcome.
Nevertheless, here is the supreme formula for bringing true peace to the world: bring together children from enemy families and nations for the "Exchange Marriage Blessing." These inter-religious and international families can build a realm of Blessing, perfecting true families of true love that both Heaven and Earth desire. From that point will begin the world of eternal peace that God and all humankind have desired.

The Blessing ceremonies are inter-religious events, at which leaders of the world's faiths join in prayers over the marriages. They are also interracial and intercultural events, where representatives of different races are joined together in marriage. Thus they are, in a very real sense, global events, uniting the world in a new vision of peace: the family of humankind.

B. The History of the Blessing

The first Blessing was that of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han on April 13, 1960.

Three days later, six of Reverend Moon's closest disciples were blessed, and so began a series of ceremonies that continued for more than 40 years and has involved ever-increasing numbers of participants.

In 1961 there were 33 couples
In 1962, 72
In 1963, 124
In 1968, 430
In 1969, (in three different ceremonies) 43
In 1970, 777
In 1975, 1800
In 1977, 74
In 197, 118
In 1982, (July) 2075
In 1982, (October) 6000
In 1988, 6500
In 1989, 1275
In 1992 (April) 1267

In August 1992, with the inauguration of the World Culture and Sports Festival in Seoul, Korea, the doors to the Blessing ceremony were opened to all. Until this time, those who wished to participate in the Blessing had to fulfill certain requirements of service and participation in Unification Church activities.

From August 1992, however, on the foundation of Reverend and Mrs. Moon's successful fulfillment of their mission, the Blessing became a gift available to all couples.

In all, 30,000 couples from 131 countries participated in the Blessing ceremony at Seoul Olympic Stadium on August 25, 1992. For the 20,000 couples present at the event, the stadium was their chapel.

Ten thousand other couples participated through satellite links at venues in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Japan. Many of the young couples present had been matched by Reverend Moon some time earlier. Older couples rededicated their existing marriages. And a portion of the participants came from the spectrum of the world's religions. This was a very new development and it was a foretaste of things to come.

In the second World Culture and Sports Festival held in August 1995, the Blessing was given to 360,000 couples at Seoul Olympic Stadium. With 36,000 couples actually present in the stadium, satellite links allowed the ceremony to be shared simultaneously with couples assembled at 553 venues in 160 countries all over the world.

Unfortunately, the weather had been dreadful, and the brides and grooms wore raincoats over their wedding attire. The ceremony began at 11 o'clock sharp and remarkably, just as Reverend and Mrs. Moon stepped out onto the stage, the rain stopped and the sun appeared. The brides and grooms affirmed their Blessing vows with a resounding "Yes" in Korean, and the sunlit stadium resounded with applause.

God's Blessing Is for the Entire Cosmos

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
God's Blessing is absolutely public. That Blessing is not for the individual or family only, nor for a nation only, nor for the world only. God's Blessing is for the entire cosmos. In order for you to become perfect Adam and Eve, fulfilling the purpose of creation, you must get married.
Why do you participate in this marriage? You do it because of God, for the will of God.
Now, for whom are we doing this work? It is for God, for the will, for humanity and for the world. It is not being done centering on the self.
You, individual by individual, man or woman, it is not for yourself. Before it is yours, it is God's.
It belongs to the world before it belongs to you.
In order to go to this noble position of bride and groom, you must realize the value of your own existence in all seasons, day and night sacrificing and witnessing to people in front of God. Then the Blessing is allowed for you.

From 1995 on, Reverend Moon invited all of the world's families to join in rededicating their marriages. Many churches responded and joined this campaign to affirm the family and receive God's blessing.

Members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), formerly the Unification Church, carried this Blessing campaign to every corner of the world. In gatherings large and small, they performed "pre-Blessing" ceremonies that would be sealed and recorded at the next large Blessing event. The simple ceremony consisted of sharing a cup of holy wine or holy juice, the reciting of vows, and a prayer.

In November 1997, 30,000 couples were in attendance at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, representing more than 39 million couples who had been contacted by FFWPU members throughout the world. By June 199, that number had grown to 124 million couples whose Blessing was sealed during a ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In recent years, the most remarkable of these ceremonies took place at the United Nations. On January 27, 2001, the World Peace Blessing Ceremony was the centerpiece of that year's World Culture and Sports Festival. Two hundred and ten couples from 135 nations around the world, dressed in their traditional national costumes, pledged marital fidelity and advocated the importance of the family. All of them made an oath of establishing eternal families based on true love, and pledged their commitment toward world peace.

The Purpose of the Blessing

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
For whom are we to get married? We are to get married for the mutual benefit of all humankind. The husband is a man representing the whole world, and the wife is a woman representing the whole world. Then where is this to begin? It is to start from a place representing the whole world. Marriage is for God's will and is what all humankind publicly hopes for.

C. The Blessing

The Blessing process is related to rebirth, or the process of salvation. Furthermore, it relates to Reverend Moon's understanding of God's process of restoration of the world and humankind. As has already been explained, originally God's ideal of creation was to be achieved through Adam and Eve's perfection and the creation of an ideal family. When Adam and Eve, as true man and woman, had children, then they would have become true parents.

This is God's original purpose of creation.

Unfortunately, Adam and Eve fell away from God. Salvation is the process of restoration, and restoration must reverse and go back through the original process of the fall. So on the path of restoration, all humankind has to return to the original point where Adam and Eve were before they fell.

True Parents

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
I blessed many millions of young couples from all continents in International Holy Blessing Ceremonies as a means to save all humankind and establish one world under the one God.
When the West and the East come together as one, the greatest cultural conflict in the world will be overcome. When an American and a German marry each other and become husband and wife, then perfect harmony will be created between these two nations, even though they were once enemies.
Furthermore, I gave the Blessing even to those now living in the spirit world. In order for the Kingdom of Heaven to be realized on Earth, the cosmic realms of the spirit world must also be liberated, and only True Parents on the Earth can do that.
As false parents, the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, sowed sinful seeds. The Messiah should liberate humankind both on Earth and in the spirit world, by coming as the True Parents.

When Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, they were without children. So human beings, who are descended from Adam and Eve, did not come from God but were born from Satan's lineage without God's blessing. In other words, all human beings have been born with original sin since human history began.

Therefore, the central issue for salvation becomes the removal of original sin and the change of blood lineage. How can this original sin be removed and how can we be born again?

Originally, Adam and Eve should have become true man and true woman, true husband and wife, and true parents. If Adam and Eve had fulfilled the position of true parents, then all of Adam and Eve's descendants would be without original sin. They would be pure and true descendants.

But because of the fall there were no true parents, no true husband and wife. This is why God then sends the Messiah as True Parents. At the Blessing Ceremony, Reverend and Mrs. Moon therefore stand in the position of True Parents.

Blood Lineage

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
Although the contents of each of your blood lineages and backgrounds are different, in order to resemble the True Parents you need to do the engrafting work. If you do not engraft, it cannot be done. In order to engraft, you must complete your indemnity course. Because it started from the parents, it must be solved through the parents.
Because Adam and Eve could not become the true parents, but became instead the false parents, God had to search until today for the true parents. The images of the bridegroom and bride and the Feast of the Lamb at the time of the Second Coming refer to the search for the true parents.

D. The Holy Wine

Prior to the actual Blessing Ceremony, all of the couples participate in a Holy Wine Ceremony. This is the moment in which all of the participants make the spiritual transition from the lineage of false parents to that of the True Parents. Each is restored conditionally to the position of "original man" and "original woman," like a true Adam and Eve.

In the ceremony, the officiator gives the Holy Wine (or Holy Juice) to the woman. She bows to him and drinks half of it. She then gives the Holy Wine (or Holy Juice) 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 love of God and the True Parents is represented in the Holy Wine. Taking the Holy Wine represents a renunciation of selfish love and an eternal commitment to God, to one's spouse, and to one's descendants.

The Holy Wine Ceremony

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
The holy wine, which is made of 21 ingredients representing all things and all levels, is given to the wife first. At the fall, Satan first tempted Eve and then Adam was lost; therefore we first establish the restored woman in a position to find the man.
The man receives the wine, representing parents' flesh and blood, through the wife. By drinking this wine in this way, he comes to stand in the position of having passed through the internal body of mother and makes the indemnity condition for the separation from Satan.

E. The Blessing Ceremony

The Blessing Ceremony conducted by Reverend and Mrs. Moon is on a very different level from a secular marriage ceremony.

The ceremony itself is a simple and beautiful event. For betrothed couples, it is their marriage 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 couple pledges 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 officiator offers a prayer and proclaims the participants husband and wife standing within the realm of God's original and eternal Blessing. In the many Blessing ceremonies conducted around the world, couples have recited vows such as the following:

In the presence of Heaven and Earth, and united in mind and body, we pledge to cherish the following ideals and responsibilities:
1. To strive to perfect ourselves as individuals with hearts of true love; to offer absolute loyalty to our spouse and maintain the sacred bond of marriage for eternity, without divorce or separation; to pursue a meaningful and harmonious relationship.
2. To strive to become an ideal couple with a heart of true love and cultivate this realm of heart within our family through parental love, conjugal love, sibling's love and children's love; to respect and care for our parents and relatives; and to extend the realm of family love to the society, nation and world.
3. To strive to become ideal parents with a heart of true love; to educate our children by setting an example and leading them to become embodiments of truth, beauty and goodness; to guide them to offer filial piety to parents, respect to elders, earnest efforts for the society and nation, and to dedicate their lives for the sake of the world.
4. To strive to become a model family with a heart of true love and help other families to find fulfillment and harmony, in order to realize a world of freedom, unity and happiness.
The Blessing represents the restoration of true love. Love without responsibility cannot be true, and so the vows describe the responsibilities that will both manifest and nurture the couple's love.

F. Responsibilities of the Blessing

These responsibilities can be divided into three categories. First, the participants vow to keep their commitment in front of God.

We have to fulfill our responsibility vertically with God. All humankind should live and commit themselves centering on true love. Without this kind of vertical commitment, our human personalities will never reach the perfection stage.

Love God First

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
When you have the heart which loves God and the creation, you can eliminate fallen love. Progress comes only if the pursuit of the original standard is stronger than the love of man and woman. Further, you must love God absolutely, make a goal that has personal value centering on the love which recreates, and go forward. It is like that because of the fall into unprincipled love. Human beings fell to a level of love centering on pride and on the self.
That is why, only when we have God's original love can we go forward. Your desire to reach the perfection of yourself must be stronger than the heart of a young man and woman dating; only then can you go up to the perfection level.
Unless your love for God digests satanic love, you cannot go up. That is why I am teaching you to adore God and the coming of the ideal groom, the Lord. This is the meaning of the 2,000 years tradition of Christian celibate life, waiting for the groom in the bride's position.
Christians do not understand this content.

The second responsibility is a horizontal responsibility toward one's own spouse. Anyone who disregards their spouse and loves another is eventually miserable. We must have a relationship only with our spouse. So, for the second responsibility, God asks all spouses to pledge to each other: "I love you eternally, unchangingly and unwaveringly. My horizontal love, my conjugal love, is only for you." This is the second responsibility.

The third responsibility is toward the sons and daughters and descendants that will result from this marriage. The most important condition for children, anytime, anywhere, is that children are thinking of their own parents centering on their true, unwavering love for each other. All children expect their parents' relationship to be loving and to be perfectly harmonious. Parents have to share a true love relationship. This is the source of children's character and personality.

G. Completion of the Blessing

Following the Blessing Ceremony, the couples participate in a Chastening Ceremony that will allow them to begin the marriage relationship with a clean slate free of resentment. In this ceremony, the husband and wife symbolically chasten each other three times from a position representing God. This simple act removes the burden of previous errors and opens the door to God's forgiveness and grace.

At the same time, it is an occasion for the couple's mutual forgiveness. From that moment, the couple begins a new life of pure love.

Many couples commit to a 40-day period of separation during which they abstain from sexual contact and dedicate themselves to a prayerful preparation for the next stage in the marriage relationship.

For many couples, this period can be a significant step in the process of transformation and renewal. The act of love itself takes on a new dimension of sacredness after offering this period of separation.

Following the separation period, the couple conducts a Three-Day Ceremony together during which the marriage is consummated. This is the completion of sanctification, in which the couple is restored to the position of true husband and wife with God's blessing to experience true love and create their own family.

The Three-Day Ceremony

From Blessing and Ideal Family, New York, NY: HSA Publications, 1993.
Man acquires the authority of restoration centering on love only in the perfection stage, not the formation or growth stages. That is because the age of Adam and the next period were periods of failure. As a result, in the Old Testament Age, people did not inherit God's formation-stage right of love.
And centering on Christianity, people did not inherit God's growth-stage love. Only after inheriting that formation-stage and growth-stage love privilege can we stand in the Completed Testament Age realm. The three-day indemnity ceremony establishes that condition.
The first day represents the restoration of fallen Adam and the Old Testament Age. The second day is restoring through indemnity the situation of Jesus and the New Testament Age.
The third day is recreating the bride and the bridegroom in the place of Jesus. From there, for the first time, you can start on the proper track. Establishing the indemnity condition in this substantial way is complicated.

H. New Culture

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 bond between husband and wife. Many experience God's special 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 the couple is working upon a greater spiritual foundation for marriage and family life, and is part of an emerging "marriage culture." This is a culture which places true family values at the center of social life. The continued expansion of this community of families offers hope and vitality for the global human family and contributes to the emergence of a world of love and peace.

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library