LOUD WHISPERS| The mass wedding ceremony, intercultural, int’l marriages

ON SUNDAY, February 1, 2015, the public will witness the biggest ever gathering of couples in white attire (white barong tagalog for men and white decent dress for women) at the Marikina Sports Complex.

There will be 144 couples who will participate in a ceremony called, “The Mass Wedding Ceremony” or the “Holy Marriage” to be officiated by Archbishops, Bishops, priests, and leaders of Asian Clergy Interfaith organizations from 20 Asian countries.

They are coming to the Philippines from the United States of America; Seoul, Japan; from Nepal; from New York; from Japan; from Korea; from Indonesia, and others.

Reverend Sun Myung Moon, was a self-proclaimed Messiah, a Korean religious leader, business magnate, and media mogul. He was the founder of the Unification Church (UC) and of its widely noted “Blessing” or mass wedding ceremony, the most famous ritual of the UC.

This ritual gained global attention for joining thousands of identically dressed brides and grooms – many who have never met before – in matrimony. Meant to highlight the church’s emphasis on traditional morality, they brought Moon fame and notoriety in equal measure.

During the first ceremony in Seoul, North Korea, they brought 36 couples in 1961, This ceremony continued to increase in number and scale. Over 2,000 couples participated in 1982 one at New York Madison’s Square Garden, the first outside of South Korea. In 1997, about 30,000 couples took part in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In church’s doctrine, the wedding for marriage is a rededication ceremony that removes couples from the lineage of sinful humanity and grafts them into God’s sinful lineage. After the blessing and when eventually the couple will give birth, any children born will be free from the consequences of original sin. For single members of the church, the ceremony is culmination of a process towards arranged marriage. Romantic liaisons are forbidden until the married members are ready to be matched.

The matching of couples from differing races and nationalities as part of this event, is a belief that all of humanity should be united. “International and intercultural marriages are the quickest way to bring about an ideal world of peace,” Reverend Moon said.

“People should marry across national and cultural boundaries with people from countries they consider to be their enemies so that the world of peace can come that much more quickly,” he said.

The mass wedding ceremony this Sunday (January 31) opens with the Water of Harmony Ceremony and the Universal Prayer for Peace. The mayor of Marikina, Honorable Del de Guzman, will give a welcome remarks.

Director General of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Dr. Sun Jin Moon, will give the True Parents’ (Rev. Moon and Madam Moon) Address.

In this occasion, the True Parents will be represented by Dr. and Mrs. Chung Sik Yung, the True Parents’ Special Emissary for Asia and UPF Asia Regional Chair.

Participation from the couples (in unison) will come during the recitation of the Blessing Vows which will re-affirm their marriage vows. There will also be exchange of marriage rings among the couples and the proclamation of Interfaith Peace Blessing.

Former speaker, Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr., former speaker of the House of Representatives, will give a Congratulatory Remarks. With Bishop Jesse Edwards, senior pastor, the New York Family Church.

The climax or most interesting part in the ceremony will be the candle-lighting part with a special prayer of remembrance, accompanied by rendition of religious songs and cheers

of “Eog Mansel.”

The last “Mass Wedding Ceremony” held in the Philippines was on January 11, 2014 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City with 13,000 couples in attendance. Two hundred 18 delegates from 18 nations also participated in the International Interfaith Peace Conference which was held in the UPF Embassy in Quezon Ciy last January 11, last year.

Next year, more and more participants are expected to attend with the positive result of all these events.

The Unification Church ascribes to the belief in coming back to life after death. There are two concepts of resurrection detailed in the Divine Principle. The first is the resurrection of people on earth, who pass from death to life, and the second, the returning resurrection which will occur in the Last Days. The Divine Principle reveals the two. (FVS)

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