Congratulations on their 25th anniversary to everyone who participated in the “Blessing of 3.6 Million Couples”! The ceremony was officiated by Father and Mother Moon on 29th November, 1997 in Washington, D.C. at the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium. 7,000 of the couples were newlyweds and had been introduced to each other by Father Moon. Many from Europe participated.
The marriage blessing in 1997 was unique as members of the Family Federation had gone from door to door everywhere in the world and given “pre-blessings” in the form of holy wine and holy water to couples who wanted a new start in their marriage. This was a large campaign at the time, also in most European countries. However, such couples were not fully blessed without the True Parents’ blessing prayer at the main ceremony on 29th November. Several thousand such “pre-blessed” couples attended at the RFK stadium.
In addition, many pastors and members of their congregations traveled from all over the United States to participate in the ceremony. Many couples came from other faiths and had been encouraged by their religious leaders to attend. In the ceremony in Washington DC, there were therefore, alongside Father and Mother Moon, six other religious leaders, from other religions, who officiated together with the True Parents.
Several media reported on the event, including the Washington Post, which wrote that 40,000 attended at the large stadium, while CNN reported 45,000 and the Associated Press 56,000.
From 1997, it was no longer the Unification Church, but the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, that was responsible for the large Blessing ceremonies. The Family Federation was established in 1996 and has become the central part of the Unification Movement. Father Moon said on several occasions that the Blessing had to be “globalized.” It wasn’t just for members of the Unification Church anymore. All people, regardless of religious affiliation, ought to be invited to take part in it. The blessing and the family values on which it is based, contribute to the greatest extent to a universal solution to humanity’s problems.
Featured image above: From Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington DC 29th Nov. 1997. Photo: FFWPU