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25 Years Since Huge Blessing in Seoul

Father and Mother Moon 1999

Father and Mother Moon filled Olympic Stadium in Seoul for huge Blessing ceremony in 1999

1999 huge Blessing
From the Marriage Blessing 7th Feb. 1999 in the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. The slogan beneath the giant screen says, “Pure Love, Happy Families, A Healthy Society!” Photo: FFWPU

On 7th February 1999, at the Seoul Olympic Main Stadium, an extraordinary event unfolded. 150,000 people gathered to witness a momentous occasion: a Blessing Ceremony, also described as a mass wedding. This event, presided over by Father and Mother Moon was a celebration of love, commitment, and unity.

At the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, 37,000 couples participated. 12,000 of those had been chosen for each other by Sun Myung Moon. They had previously asked Father Moon to find them an eternal partner. The remaining 25,000 couples were married couples who wanted their existing marriage blessed by True Parents. Father and Mother Moon declared all the couples to be true husband and wife and asked God to bless them.

Along with Father and Mother Moon, eight prominent religious leaders, from other religious traditions, bestowed their blessing on all the couples.

At the same time as the event, ceremonies were held all over the world, linked to the one in Seoul via satellite or internet, and in which a total of 110,000 couples participated.

Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of the Family Federation of the USA 1994-2000, described the grand ceremony,

Exchanging rings 7th Feb. 1999
One of the couples exchanging rings 7th Feb. 1999. Photo: FFWPU

“The main event began with Dr. Bo Hi Pak’s sonorous baritone resonating in Korean and English, announcing the start of the event to heaven and earth. He introduced the one man ‘on the ground’ most responsible for the overflowing stadium (at 30-days’ notice), Rev. Sun Jo Hwang, president of the church in Korea. Moments after his prayer to open the ceremony, representative leaders of the world’s religions ascended the stage. Each gave their blessing on the couples according to the tradition of their faith.

Among them, Chicago pastor T. L. Barrett’s prayer in particular was powerful. He gave his entire heart and soul, lifting up God and True Parents to the world. The Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo’s prayer and counsel on stage was also extremely meaningful. He is head of the Pontifical Council for Refugees, and one of the first, if not the first, active Vatican leader to play a major public role in a Unificationist religious event.

Religious leaders 1999 Seoul
Religious leaders giving their blessing on the many couples 7th Feb. 1999 in Seoul. Kranz is 6th from right, Milingo 4th, Osman 3rd, Barrett 2nd. Photo: FFWPU

When we consider that on the same stage with these two spiritual leaders were an eminent American rabbi, Herzel Kranz, Sheik Alamin Osman, the Grand Mufti of Eritrea, together with major leaders from Buddhism, Hinduism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Sikhism, we can see that the convergence of humanity’s spiritual paths is finally a substantial historical reality.

It is happening in one place, beyond the conference room tables and academic journals, in the midst of God’s holy blessing of marriage. This can only be the hand of God. In the hand of God is the hope of the human race.

The ones who set this all in motion, our True Parents, then entered the stadium in glory and with a light spirit to the strains of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’. They performed the ceremony as they have done many times. It is at its heart very simple, with a sprinkling of holy water, the reciting of the marriage covenant, the benediction and proclamation of the blessing, the exchange of rings, and congratulatory remarks and songs.

Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda (1924-2021), the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. Photo (1998): FFWPU

Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda gave the remarks, and the musical ambassador of Paraguay, Gloria del Paraguay, presented a lovely song.” (From a report in Today’s World, a monthly magazine published by the Family Federation 1980-2013, February 1999 issue, p.17).

There was also entertainment before the main ceremony, ranging from Korean folk music to contemporary pop.

In the same article, Tyler Hendricks also shares how it was to be a spectator,

“Sunday morning, the day of the Blessing Ceremony, we departed our hotel at 10:30 and were engulfed in the flow of buses arriving from throughout the Korean peninsula. Some had begun their journeys from far away as early as 2 or 3 in the morning to be there on time. We heard that the church leaders of Korea who prepared for the event expected some five thousand buses to converge that morning.

We found our parking place and indeed, rivers of people, literally rivers, flowed past us. These were hardy country folk, taking on several hours in the frigid weather with a simple suit or sweater. It was an overcast day, although a sun filtered by haze broke through after the event started. It was as warm as anyone could hope for on a Seoul day in early February.”

Featured image above: Father and Mother Moon at the 7th February 1999 huge blessing ceremony. Photo: FFWPU

“25 Years Since Huge Blessing in Seoul” – compiled by Knut Holdhus from various sources, including Today’s World.

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