Unification News For January 1996
Single Blessing in America & Participant List
by Mrs. Therese Stewart-Red Hook, NY
The HSA-UWC New Yorker was the scene of the second Single Blessing in America on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 10am. It was officiated by Rev. and Mrs. Chung Hwan Kwak, director of the World Mission Department and president of the Unification Church of Korea. Rev. and Mrs. Kwak were assisted by Rev. and Mrs. Joong Hyun Pak, HSA-UWC continental director for North America. A total of forty women and men from 11 countries participated in the Blessing and the families of many were in attendance. Participants wore the traditional white robes. Brides carried bridal bouquets and bridegrooms wore boutonnieres.
Participants were gathered in the Blessing Room on the second floor when the officiants entered and Rev. Pak opened the ceremony with prayer. Dr. Tyler Hendricks served as Master of Ceremonies. The congregation sang the "Song of the Garden," accompanied by Mr. Kevin Pickard.
Rev. Kwak guided the participants through the ceremony, explaining each step-the Engagement to their future eternal spouse, the Holy Wine ceremony and the proclamation of the Blessing. He explained that God's ideal was that Adam and Eve would grow to perfection and then-as True Son and True Daughter of God-would become True Husband and Wife; then, through their conjugal love, they would pass on their life, love and lineage to their sons and daughters. However, they united while they were still immature in love and heart, centering their conjugal life instead on Satan and false love, having lost true life, true love and true lineage. Humankind is rooted in this false love, and all their descendants are automatically related to false life, love and lineage, no matter how hard parents try to prevent this. Fallen humans then need salvation, he said, rebirth in the biblical sense, and this rebirth process is related to the Holy Blessing and especially to the Holy Wine ceremony. He explained that while the Holy Wine looks like any other wine, it has in it elements of sea, earth and sky, and represents the whole cosmos and history. "Most important is the element of True Parents' holy love-True Love, True Life and True Lineage." Through the Holy Blessing, he added, both bride or groom and their future spouse are reborn into God's lineage. Each participant received the Holy Wine individually from Rev. Kwak, drinking half of the portion for himself or herself and half for their spouse in the spiritual world. Rev. Kwak explained to the participants that they have the prerogative of choosing their spouse when they enter the spiritual world. He said that he assumed that most of them would choose the spouse who had gone on to the spiritual world before them. (Most of the participants had been previously married.)
Mrs. ___, soprano, accompanied by Mr. Kevin Pickard at the piano, offered "The Lord's Prayer." Mr. Farley Jones, president of the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace, offered Congratulations and welcomed the participants to membership in the Family Federation. He explained that the Blessing promotes the realization of ideal families and that they must be founded in the ideal of True Love, the family being the central place where True Love is to be nurtured and realized. He told them that in participating in the Blessing, they were "acting in love on behalf of their spouse-to- be in the spiritual world" and that on this day they had advanced the cause of love in this world and in heaven.
Dr. Theodore Shimmyo, president of the Unification Theological Seminary, alluded to all that True Parents had endured to establish the authority to give the Blessing and pointed out that the desire of God, man and woman to be happy meet together in the Blessing. Dr. Shimmyo told Blessing recipients that he was moved to tears by their participation in the Blessing, seeing their being relatively older and more experienced in the world as evidence that the whole world is seeking true happiness and love. He said that they would come to understand the meaning of the Blessing when they reached out to every corner of the world, to those ignorant of God's love, as Heavenly Father has been doing. In this way, he said, they could expect to have a dramatic experience under God when they met their spouse in the spiritual world.
Mrs. Chriseda Daniels and Mr. Lloyd Anderson, representing all the participants, presented bouquets of flowers to Rev. and Mrs. Kwak. Rev. Kwak concluded the ceremony by leading the gathering in cheers of Mansei for Heavenly Father, True Parents and the participants.
A Celebration Banquet was served at 1pm. Mr. Peter Ross, a gracious Master of Ceremonies, welcomed attendees and introduced participants Mrs. Mayre O'Neill and Mr. Manuel Morales to cut the wedding cake, and then called on Mr. Farley Jones to offer a toast. The New Yorker Food Service staff ably led by Mr. Paul Valin served the banquet. Mr. Raul Joseph performed several songs. A delightful, impromptu program followed when Peter Ross invited participants and guests to share a song or story while families and guests lingered over dessert and coffee and savored the events of the day.
Participants in the Dec. 17 Blessing were:
Sung Bok Hsu
Jung Hyun Lee
Hyun Nim Lee
Jung Ja Ma
Young Kee Moon
Kye Soon Shin
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