UK: Memorial Service at the Holy Oak Memorial Woodland
Prepared by FFWPU UK
Brothers and sisters from all over the country gathered together at the Holy Oak Memorial Woodland in Stanton Fitzwarren on Sunday 4th August. They came to remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones who left for their eternal home.
The songs ‘Sweet, Sweet Spirit’ and ‘As the deer…’ set the tone for a very moving Memorial service led by our MC Bernard Chellew. Rev Dr David Hanna introduced the message of the day entitled: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ and sang a beautiful hymn called: ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’. Then he spoke about our life being aligned with our Heavenly Parent and for us to come into the resonance of His true love. Holding a tuning fork in front of us he demonstrated the magic of the sound and vibration produced. Like a tuning fork with 2 prongs, our resonance with heaven makes us mediator between the physical and spirit world and melts away all anxiety of life. We find peace and peace is power. David concluded by reminding us about the soon approaching seventh anniversary of True Father’ Seonghwa, he then recalled some of his fond memories of fishing with True Father.
The service followed with updates on the newly formed Seonghwa Ministry UK by Françoise Murphy. Various brothers and sisters then spontaneously shared about their loved ones, reflecting on their journey through bereavement, reading poems, telling their reflections and their experiences and contacts with their spouse from the spiritual realm.
After the service, we all went to pray at the Holy Ground. In 1974 True Father planted an oak tree and established this Holy Ground on the land that Henry and Avril Masters donated to our movement. We spent time at the weonjeon of our loved ones laying flowers, remembering and praying for them as well as visiting each other’s weonjeon and giving comfort to each other.
The brothers and sisters from the West Country had worked very hard to prepare a fabulous BBQ lunch and we were welcomed to the feast. Conversations went on in the afternoon, meeting each other, with some brothers and sisters we had not seen for a while and some we just met for the first time. We counted around 65 people including children. We had a wonderful and heart-warming time together. Many commented on how grateful they were for the opportunity to gather together and remember their loved ones. It was lovely to see everyone and share in our common experience, supporting and embracing each other.
We would like to thank Keiko de Giles, the members of the Memorial Woodland Committee and the West Country members for all the amazing work they did preparing the ground and the lunch for all of us. We are so blessed in the UK to have this special Holy ground where we can lay our brothers and sisters to rest and where their graves are so well looked after by such a dedicated group of members. Many thanks also to the Seonghwa Ministry for taking the responsibility of organizing this annual Memorial service and for their commitment to care for our brothers and sisters during those challenging times of their life.