Germany: Family Festival in Düsseldorf
by Claus Dubisz, FFWPU Germany
Planned already long before, especially for those couples who were unable to attend the Blessing in Camberg in February, a wonderfully organized Family Festival was held in the Düsseldorf center on the 36th anniversary of the 2075 couples’ Blessing in 1982 on July 1, 2018.
Three very special couples out of the almost one hundred participants were to receive the Blessing: Ender Eker from the MIHR-Foundation with his wife Sally, an Iranian couple (both longstanding UPF Ambassadors for Peace), and – having especially made the journey from Frankfurt – a further Iranian couple, whose daughter Ronak had been in Vienna and had attended the last weekend seminar.
Our quiz on the topic of: ‚wedding traditions from around the world‘relaxed the atmosphere, not least because the first prize was a huge water melon! In the end there were three winners who together accepted the edible trophy, and later – in the spirit of living for the sake of others – shared it with everybody else.
Then all the couples were asked to write down how they experienced God in their partner. A few even read out what they had written.
Following this, Ender Eker gave a report about the interreligious Blessing of the MIHR Foundation, which had recently taken place in Stuttgart. The enthusiasm with which he and his wife could now receive this Blessing was obvious.
Ulrich Tuente (with four other couples who had also been there) took the opportunity to remember the Blessing in which he and his wife participated in 1982 in Madison Square Garden, New York.
Diverse musical contributions on the piano or a-capella from younger participants made for a relaxed atmosphere.
Claus Dubisz – who had been invited from Frankfurt – explained about the value of marriage and family as God’s object partner. The Blessing, a ‘Blessing of true love’ (Rev. Moon) is God’s gift to mankind, who has been separated from God, in order that the original ideal may be fulfilled in this time. The calling and lifestyle of True Parents have made this possible, and the Family Federation should be a vehicle through which this Blessing should be passed on to the human race – regardless of religion and culture.
We were shown pictures of Blessings of various dimensions which had taken place in Africa, Asia, America or Europe and gave a feeling of a world-wide family of blessed couples.
Makoto and Else Noguchi led the ceremonies. The ceremony of reconciliation and forgiveness – which was demonstrated by Eliot and Kazuha – deeply touched the hearts of the participants; then followed Holy Nectar and Holy Water ceremonies. Makoto then read out the four marriage vows which were affirmed with a loud ‚yes!’ We saw a short excerpt of a video with Rev. Moon’s original Blessing prayer, before Makoto continued the prayer and ended with his own words.
There was enthusiastic applause and the couples received bouquets of flowers. Celina sang “The Blessing” accompanied by her husband Takanari, and then the couple together cut the festive cake before the festival was brought to a close with a group photograph.
A lunch buffet was followed by long and lively conversations, just as one would wish at a large family meeting.