3550 couples at 2003 Blessing in South Korea, 30,000 globally
We congratulate all the couples who took part in the 2003 Blessing ceremony 13th July 2003 in South Korea and other locations around the world, organised by the Family Federation (FFWPU). The main event was held in the large indoor arena Yu Gwan-sun gymnasium in Cheonan, a city of about 700 000 inhabitants, 85 km south of the capital Seoul. Father and Mother Moon officiated in Cheonan, where 3550 couples from many different countries participated, the majority from South Korea and Japan. Simultaneous events in different corners of the world were connected to the main ceremony in South Korea via satellite and internet, so that according to the organizers altogether 30,000 couples received the Blessing on their marriage.
The Korean magazine Shisa News Monthly covered the 2003 Blessing in a large report in its August issue,
“The event showed how Rev. Moon actualized the unity of all different peoples through racial and religious reconciliation and the order of true love, as well as how FFWPU is taking the initiative to promote ideal families.
The event showed the scope of the activities in which FFWPU has been involved, including those that aim to overcome the problems caused by sexual promiscuity and crises of sexual identity, which are threatening to families, nations and, moreover, world peace.”
Representatives of different religious traditions – Buddhism, Sikhism, the Druze faith, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and native American spirituality – prayed for the couples.
Father and Mother Moon and their assistants in the arena and cities throughout the world sprinkled holy water on the all the couples. The blessing vows were read out by Sun Myung Moon, and everyone shouted a loud yes to each vow. He prayed for the thousands of men and women about to start their married life before the Holy Marriage Blessing was proclaimed.
In his benediction prayer, Father Moon said,
“We know that this occasion, upon which the eyes of people throughout the whole cosmos are riveted, is the place of blessing You have so wished for – the occasion where we are establishing the basis to find Your nation, and the starting base upon which You can build Your family.
Therefore, please be present at this ceremony, and embrace everything here in its entirety, including the brides and bridegrooms, and the guests, surrounding them in Your bosom of grace.
Please allow the Kingdom of Heaven on earth – the liberated physical world of glory, and the Kingdom of Heaven in heaven – the liberated spiritual world, to become one in heart, in mindset and in body, and bestow on us the grace to enter the era of the kingship of love and Your liberated Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in heaven, by leading us in this ceremony in person.”
Hamilton Green, prime minister of Guyana 1985-1992, said in his congratulatory address,
“My friends, from the dawn or our civilization, every society has upheld the practice of marriage, unions between a man and a woman blessed by the Creator and based on the religious beliefs of the contracting parties. Over time, we have brought a custom to this union, taking place between persons of similar race, religion, social and economic status.
Indeed, up until now, in many places, a union that crossed these artificial barriers of race or religions was not acceptable. Indeed, in colonial days, these marriages were not recognized. In my part of the world, it was difficult for a young Hindu to marry a Christian or a Muslim, or vice versa. Those who attempted to overrun these age-old tribal religious boundaries incurred the wrath of family, friends and the society of which they were a part.
Thanks to the perspicacity and the vision of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, together we have enjoyed a glorious journey beyond the narrow confines of those traditional boundaries. This wonderful and beautiful interreligious, world peace blessing ceremony is the manifestation of a goodness that is bringing us all together to share hope, fellowship and love.
This great leap forward demonstrated by this ceremony is like a bright beacon of glorious light that will lead us to a world of peace and contentment and so fulfill the prophecies of all the great prophets.
We need to recall that for centuries, religion has been the basis for violent conflict, hate and the wanton waste of life and destruction of property. Religious bigotry allowed one group to believe that their way, and their way alone, was the only correct and authorized road to salvation–any other had to be wrong and unacceptable. Today, we assembled here are part of a dynamic and pervasive change.
[…] The family unit is the foundation upon which the modern society is built. Marriage is the beginning of the family unit. It is therefore important that marriage and marriages do not suffer from the defect of fetteredness of or the quirks of history.
That we, as we did a moment ago, witness marriages, some mixed but all blessed by a variety of religious leaders, is a wonderful and rewarding experience–clearly the start for a safer world. These couples happily vowed to be true husbands and wives. Our modern-day apostle, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon has made this possible. These marriages, with their attendant blessing represent our hope to fulfill our dream for a happy and a peaceful world.”
Part of the two hours long program of the 2003 Blessing was performances by Korean, Japanese and Filipino singers, including Hyun Chul [a popular middle-aged Korean singer].
The spectacular Marriage Blessing Ceremony was the main event of World Culture and Sports Festival 2003.
Featured image above: Father and Mother Moon officiating at the 2003 Blessing 13th July in Cheonan, South Korea. Photo: Ogawa, Kogensha, Japan / Family Federation
“20th Anniversary of 2003 Blessing” – text: Knut Holdhus, written based on report in the July 2003 issue of “Today’s World”, a monthly magazine published by the Family Federation 1980-2013.