The Advent of True Mother
Our elder sister from the 36 couples shares observations as one of the organizers and well-wishers at True Parents’ Holy Wedding, and of Mother’s first days as our True Mother.
Mrs. Dae-hwa Chung
Father and Mother’s marriage engagement was proclaimed in a straw-matted room on the second floor of the former headquarters church, with a small table spread with food in front of them. I remember it was the first day of the third month of the lunar calendar. Mother was dressed in a white hanbok [Korean traditional clothing] and on that occasion she sang “When Spring Comes.”
“When spring comes, the wild azaleas bloom over mountains and hills. Where the wild azaleas bloom, my heart blooms too…”
I didn’t think she had chosen the song by mere chance, because the song seemed to perfectly allude to the providence. One of the things True Father is very proud of and has always praised is that True Mother is spiritually very sensitive. She had proved this. The single lily that had blossomed deep in the mountains finally began to reveal its subtle fragrance.
The 16th day of the 3rd month on the lunar calendar, in 1960, was the historic day of the marriage supper of the Lamb, for which God had waited six thousand years. Wedding decorations were put up in the main hall of the former headquarters church. The walls and the floor were covered with white cloth, and a platform had been erected. When the preparations were completed, True Father consecrated the hall with salt. That was how Holy Salt first came to be. From then on, we have continued to practice that tradition of consecrating everything with Holy Salt.
After Father had sanctified the room, the ceremony officially began. True Mother, dressed in white hanbok with a long wedding veil over her head and ornaments befitting a bride, came down the stairs from the second floor, arm in arm with True Father. A chorus of “Song of the Banquet” was their wedding march.
They were warmly welcomed by all the members present, who were dressed in white. What thoughts passed through True Mother’s mind at the time? While she was going to middle school and staying at the home of her uncle, Hong Soon-jeong, she had read books on the saints and sages of the world and on the history of the Three Kingdoms, and dreamed of entering a convent where she could live forever untainted by the touch of the secular world. And yet, here she was, on the verge of becoming the True Mother of this great universe. What deep emotions she must have felt at the time!
The ceremony was carried out twice, first in the Western style with a wedding veil, and then in the Korean traditional style with blue silk hanbok, square belt and black hat for the groom and a bridal headpiece and Korean royal dress for the bride. True Mother looked stately and proud, and no one who saw her thought of her as an eighteen-year old girl [seventeen by Western counting]. Following True Father’s instructions, with no embarrassment or hesitation, and with a small smile on her face, True Mother bore herself well to the end of the ceremony.
Mrs. Ji Seung-do laid out the offering table for the Holy Wedding according to revelations she had received from Heaven. Some forty different kinds of food, which included nuts, fruits, oil-and-honey pastry, fish, beef jerky, rice cakes and so on, were piled in cylindrical columns about seventy centimeters in height and twenty-five centimeters in diameter. They were placed on the table along with bowls of wedding noodles.
After the ceremony, True Parents sat down at the same table for the first time and shared a meal at the big table. I remember I had carried the table myself from the kitchen to the platform with Mrs. Lee Kang-chil.
After the meal, celebrations were held in the same hall. True Parents had changed out of their Korean traditional wedding costumes and were wearing colorful hanbok. They danced right there and then. What a joyous occasion it was! The moment of finding the lost Eve that had been awaited for six thousand years!…
In the selection of the True Mother of the cosmos, the girl who had been prepared in secret was chosen over the many women vying for the position. She became the mistress of the headquarters church. Mothers with children who had received revelations and had offered devotions and waited for a long time in the hope of becoming the True Mother were disappointed. Their love for Father turned into jealousy toward Mother, and they couldn’t stop coveting her position. True Mother knew about this; how could she not, under the circumstances? How difficult must it have been for the young True Mother to bear this cross in her heart!
True Parents didn’t even go on a honeymoon as other couples do. Moreover, Mother was confined to a small room and the veranda on the second floor, in a crowded environment where church members stayed twenty-four hours a day. The bathroom was on the first floor, a long distance from her room, and this added to her discomfort. She also had to take her meals in the main room with the members. The sweet life and dreams of a couple that people usually expect newlyweds to have were not to be observed. Who, apart from God Himself, could know that from an internal point of view, her strict training for the providence had begun?
True Father forbade True Mother’s mother, Grandmother Hong, from entering the church through the front door for three years. True Mother endured all these things and never betrayed her feelings. Trusting only in True Father, she overcame everything through her life of absolute faith and finally emerged victorious. Our great True Mother! Who could have possibly endured it all as she had?
Three days after the Holy Wedding, in line with Korean tradition, True Mother came down to the kitchen, an old-fashioned place smelling of briquette gas, and donned an apron. She personally cooked food for True Father. Even a woman accustomed to housework has trouble cooking in a new place, but True Mother entered the kitchen and wielded knives as if she had always used them and began cooking in a bold manner. I could not help being impressed by her. As I remember, she cooked spicy chicken soup and potato croquettes. She completely reformed True Father’s diet, which had before been monotonous with simple, salty and spicy kinds of food and included a greater variety of foods in it. The most difficult thing in cooking for True Father had been planning the menu, but from then on I discussed it with True Mother and received instructions from her, so I was very grateful for her presence.
But then True Father, in consideration of the members, began eating by himself. After Father had finished eating, True Mother took the small table that Father had used and ate in the kitchen. The kitchen was also the passageway from the main room to the bathroom. Squatting down in that small space, she had to eat in haste. How hungry she must have been as she waited! When I think about it, tears still come to my eyes.
Members who did not know the internal circumstances always expected True Mother to smile at them with benevolence and love, and True Mother, knowing what they expected, serenely carried out all her tasks without making a single mistake.
True Mother moved into new accommodations, not because Father had prepared a new home for them after the wedding, but because she had been instructed to go to live in the home of a member, Mr. Kim In-cheol—a five-minute walk from the church. It was during her first pregnancy. It was a Japanese-style house, rather cold and drafty and without even a small courtyard around which True Father could take a walk when he came to visit.
True Mother liked to draw, and she was very good at it. When True Father came to see her, she told him about books she had read in her school days as if she had read them that very day. I heard her speaking to him a few times and was surprised at her good memory and articulacy. She also told him about articles she had read in the newspapers, almost as clearly as if she were reading the articles to him, and she spoke with such eloquence.
Sometimes True Father played a certain board game with the members that could be played with three other players. As True Mother won the most games, I could see that she was extraordinarily smart.
Dae-hwa Chung is the wife of Rev. Young-hwi Kim: they are one of the first three couples True Parents blessed. Despite being in their nineties, Rev. and Mrs. Kim maintain a close connection with, and interest in, the movement’s development. They are currently residing in the United States with their eldest son.