Reverend Moon speaks about the ultimate expression of love. Feb 1, 1982, NYC
On February 20, 2016 thousands of brides and grooms will participate in the Marriage Blessing, a marriage ceremony happening in South Korea and across the United States. Like most weddings, there will be white dresses and tuxedos, flowers, music, and of course, cake. But the Blessing is not your average wedding…
For the Love of God
Weddings are beautiful, two people commit to love each other, “till death do us part”, to unite and share their whole lives with one another. It embodies all of our hopes for happiness and peace. Every culture, every religion, has some form of this sacred institution.
Marriage is a cornerstone of society, but it is also a gift, or “Blessing” from God. It is God’s gift to all His and Her children to be able to experience love and create a family. For Unificationists, the Blessing signifies the union of man and woman, which is the truest reflection of God, whose essence is both male and female. The divine union of a man and woman through a Blessed marriage reflects our Heavenly Parent’s image more fully, and invites God’s presence more powerfully than any individual alone. As Father Moon put it: “Neither man nor woman can touch God’s highest love by themselves.”
For many, even before the marriage itself, the process of finding a husband or wife is unique. Instead of dating multiple partners in order to find, “the one”, Unificationists participate in a family-guided engagement process, often referred to as the “matching”. With the matching, two individuals are introduced and build their relationship with the support of their families or mentors. While most couples in a dating relationship may not even be looking for a long term commitment, Unificationists begin their relationship with the goal of marriage in mind. They commit not just to each other, but also to God, putting the Heavenly Parent in the center of their family.
“We are gathered here today…”
In a traditional wedding, a bride and groom stand alone in front of family and friends to proclaim their vows. In the Blessing ceremony, couples are married along side of hundreds, sometimes thousands of other couples, in one big ceremony.
Why would anyone want to share their wedding day? Because marriage is not just about the joining together of “man and wife.” It is a joining together of two families, and often, two cultures. There is a higher purpose that goes beyond the couple.
Unificationists think of their marriages as a piece of the larger puzzle to creating a better world, and believe that the family is the channel of God’s love. In order to build a peaceful world, we must first build peaceful families, and that begins with the harmonious union of husband and wife.
A History of Love
Beginning from Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s own Marriage Blessing in 1960, this Blessing tradition has spread to millions of families and homes throughout the world, transcending the Unification faith itself.
If you were to look out on the crowd at a Blessing Ceremony, you would see couples of all different nationalities, races, and religions. Since 1992, clergy and members from many faiths have participated in the International and Interreligious Marriage Blessing Ceremony. Already-married couples join as well to rededicate their love to God and each other.
Father Moon’s special insight is that the corruption that exists in the world today is a direct result of the breakdown of the family, starting of course, with the first family. When Adam and Eve fell away from God, they were unable to receive God’s blessing. Genesis tells the history of the first dysfunctional family; hiding from God, blaming and mis-trusting each other, and creating a family in which a jealous and angry elder brother killed his own younger sibling. This family is the root of the entire human family today. The Holy Marriage Blessing is a way to return to God’s original idea of love, building loving families, harmonious nations, and a peaceful world.