The Words of Hyo Jin Moon

Holy Wedding of Hyo Jin Nim and Nan Sook Nim

Joy Pople
January 7, 1982

Belvedere, True Parents' first home in the United States, opened its gates to welcome the eldest son of True Parents and the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sung Pyo Hong, to be blessed in a holy wedding on January 7, 1982.

The Western-style wedding ceremony began at 10:40 a.m., in the library on the first floor of the main house. The half-hour ceremony, conducted in Korean, was witnessed by 120 selected members dressed in white robes; these included 73 Koreans, plus Japanese, European and a few American leaders.

Red carpet, covered by white cloth, ran the length of the main hallway, with members standing along both sides. When Hyo Jin Nim and Nan Sook Nim arrived arm in arm at the far door of the hall, Dr. Mose Durst offered the invocation.

The first to enter the wedding room were the representatives of the friends of the groom and bride, followed by their attendants. Father and Mother, dressed in gold-trimmed robes and crowns, descended the stairs and entered, followed by the groom and bride, and then the other members present.

Opening the holy wedding ceremony, Father asked the groom and bride three questions, similar to those asked of all couples at their Blessing. They gave their pledge to fulfill these conditions. Father and Mother sprinkled on their heads scented water. For the Blessing prayer, Father placed his hand on Nan Sook Nim and Mother her hand on Hyo Jin Nim. Following this, the bride and groom exchanged gifts of rings and watches.

After a song, Mr. Young Whi Kim gave a congratulatory message. He referred to the mission of the eight members of Adam's family, including the three sons and their wives, who were supposed to establish pure families so God could work through them. After this foundation was lost, God tried to restore it externally through Noah's family. Now, through True Parents' family and the three children's families, the original significance of the number eight is restored internally. Upon this foundation, therefore, the Cain- type blessed couples can prosper and receive more blessing.

Closing the ceremony, Father proclaimed the holy marriage of Hyo Jin Nim and Nan Sook Nim and led in three cheers of mansei.

Confetti, brightly-colored streamers and rice greeted the groom and bride on their wedding march, between two rows of members offering their congratulations. After the ceremony, members of the wedding party returned to the room for picture taking. Photographs were made of many combinations of True Parents, the groom and bride, and the wedding party.

According to Korean tradition, the bride should look serious on her wedding day, and Nan Sook Nim kept a calm composure. Hyo Jin Nim, in contrast, was joyful as well as dignified.

The traditional Korean-style wedding took place in True Parents' second-floor living room, after the members of the wedding party changed into Korean clothes. This was a more intimate ceremony, attended by the immediate families. Lengths of pastel-colored fabric decorated the room and the three doorways leading to it. Tall stacks of fruits were visible on a large offering table.

Perhaps some background on Korean wedding traditions would be helpful to Western members. Although there are some variations in details, according to regions, the following description would be typical.

Weddings are generally held in the home of the bride's parents. The groom and bride sit at either end of a table on which various symbolic items are placed. These might include a cooked chicken, chestnuts, we chu (a dried fruit similar to plums or dates, used only for weddings), evergreen branches, flowers, bamboo and candles. The bride bows three times to the groom; then the groom bows twice to the bride; finally, they both bow once to each other. Then the groom and bride drink rice wine, first separately and then together.

Then the bride bows to her new parents-in-law. The bride is accompanied by two married women who have already given birth to sons. The groom's parents then toss some we chu and chestnuts to the bride (symbolic of their hopes that she will have good fortune and give birth to sons).

A celebration follows the wedding. The parents and the newlyweds then sit together around a long table piled with stacks of food (similar to the way our church's offering tables are decorated). The wedding feast includes special very thin, long noodles, symbolic of long life. The first night, the couple sleeps in the bride's house; the following day, they go to the bridegroom's house, the groom riding on a horse and the bride in a palanquin (a covered litter carried on poles by two men).

The night of the wedding, in the house of the bridegroom's parents, the wedding guests tie a rope around the bridegroom's ankles and hang him upside down. Then they tease him and beat him, asking him how much money he was planning to give them. If he names a sum they are not satisfied with, they might continue beating him and teasing him until he gives a figure that pleases them.

Father once explained the reason for such a custom. Other people might be jealous of the groom if he easily takes a beautiful girl as his wife. So the friends of the bridegroom can hit him and tease him, and thus help him pay indemnity.

The night of his Blessing, Hyo Jin Nim was given this treatment, and not only him but also Mr. Sung Pyo Hong, Mr. Soon Jong Hong (Mother's uncle), Col. Bo Hi Pak, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, and Father's two relatives present, Mr. Sung Young Moon and Mr. Sung Kyun Moon -- all were spontaneously caught and hung upside down one by one. "You receive too much of Father's love," the other guests teased them. "How much money will you give us?" They collected promises of $20,000 by the end of the antics. Father was highly amused and said, "Since none of you have too much money, I'll pay on your behalf."

According to Korean custom, wedding celebrations continue for three days. Each morning, the bridegroom and bride should dress in traditional Korean clothes and greet the groom's parents, bowing to them three times. Hyo Jin Nim protested that his pink and light-blue outfit was awkward to wear, but his mother-in-law told him that he was still the bridegroom and besides, he looked so handsome in his clothes, why not wear them throughout the day for the three days. So he agreed to.

In Korean tradition, the relationship between the bridegroom and his mother-in- law is particularly warm and close, as well as the relationship between the bride and her father-in-law. This is a form of a mother's love for her son and a father's love for his daughter. Therefore, such a relationship between Hyo Jin Nim and Mrs. Hong was very natural.

On January 8, the Korean, Japanese and European leaders spent the entire day playing Yute at East Garden; the third day, January 9, was devoted to meetings with international leaders. 

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