Regional Level Seong-hwa Ceremony for Rev. Fritz Piepenburg
Neumühle, Bad Camberg, Germany, October 22, 2015
By FFWPU Germany, Claus Dubisz and Dieter Schmidt: The sudden passing of our dear brother Fritz Piepenburg had caused a big shock for the German and European movement. He had been engaged in his mission till the last moment.
It was an impressive ceremony, with 210 participants from Frankfurt (where Fritz was Community leader), Germany (where he was Vice President of FFWPU), Europe (where he was known for his work in UPF and Publications) and even from other continents.
Additionally, around 20 members of his closest family in Bavaria (South- Germany) and from his wife’s relatives as well joined the Seonghwa celebration.
His sons and daughters created a wonderful atmosphere with classical music pieces from Bach and Mozart, We learned that this ability and various other activities within the Piepenburg family has created their wonderful family spirit of love and strength, an example for other people, especially in their years as foreign missionaries in Yemen and Peru.
In the first half of the ceremony people were very serious, even sad. Also – as this is common custom in Germany at funerals – nobody clapped. This changed with Rev. Jun Seuk An presented the Calligraphy of True Mother to Hildegard (Fritz’ wife) and the children. He emphasized the joyful spirit of Seong-hwa and amazingly people gave a rousing applause for True Mothers care and Love for Fritz. From that time on the messages of European FFWPU President Jack Corley and German FFWPU President Dieter Schmidt, as well as the performances afterwards got always a joyful applause.
The spiritual atmosphere became deep, but very calm, when we reflected during the sermon the life and the character of Fritz, described as “Solid as a rock” and straight like “If I could live my life once again, I wouldn’t change anything”
We then moved to the village cemetery of Schlossborn (where the Piepenburgs are living), 20km away from Bad Camberg.i
More than two dozens of local acquaintance joined, and Fritz was buried in midst a sea of flowers. The mortician was very impressed, saying he didn’t see for a very long time such a huge and mixed group of mourners in that place.
Finally we went back to Camberg for lunch and coffee and a closing round of testimonies, performances and a slideshow of Fritz’ life. Karl-Christian Hausmann (German UPF President) also inspired Otto (Fritz’ younger brother) to share some personal memories, which he did and finally concluded “I am very proud of my brother”
There were letters of condolence from all over the world and from several ambassadors for peace including an Islamic, Jewish and Christian Representative.
With our deepest love we sent our precious brother Fritz now to the eternal spirit world and we so grateful to True Parents we can do this through a Seong Hwa Ceremony.