Prepared by WFWP USA
Strengthening marriages and families is one of the three core areas of impact of the Women’s Federation for World Peace USA because we believe that stable families are at the center of a peaceful society and world. Thus, WFWP chapters around the nation support events that strengthen families, such as the marriage renewal ceremony that took place recently in Colorado.
On December 7th, 2019, members of the FFWPU together with members of WFWP co-sponsored and hosted a “Celebration and Renewal of Marriage” at the Colorado Family Church in Denver. Three beautiful couples began the transformational process of renewing their marriages centered on God.
FFWPU and WFWP were both founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. They were called by God to contribute to true peace on many levels and in many ways here in America and around the world.
The date we chose, December 7th, was a significant date for us because in South Africa on that day, Dr. Moon was also celebrating and renewing marriages. But instead of three, she was blessing 100,000 marriages!
As the WFWP representative, I welcomed participants to the event together with Dr. Michael Hentrich, representing FFWPU. We first showed a short video of WFWP and its activities, and this was followed by a slide show of all of the couples who had participated in past marriage renewal ceremonies at the Colorado Family Church. The slide show was accompanied by the toe-tapping song “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra. Everyone seemed happy to see couples and families of various ages, races, and religions. It supported our belief that we truly are one family who has God as our common Parent.
We explained to the couples that Rev. and Mrs. Moon have a vision of world peace through ideal families. It is, of course, a step-by-step process to create ideal marriages and families, and this process begins with ourselves. In what ways do I need to change for the better and in what ways do I need to grow? We continued by saying we then need to focus on improving our relationship with our spouse. How can we be more loving and amply live for the sake of our husband or wife, more than for ourselves?
And finally, we need to make an effort to love our precious children and grandchildren in the right way, striving to look at them from God’s point of view, not just our own.
After these words, the couples began the celebration and renewal of their marriages by drinking juice together from a single cup, which symbolized the “two becoming one” in God’s eyes. They then sincerely asked God to dwell more profoundly in their marriages.
Water was then sprinkled ceremoniously upon all of the couples and children as Dr. Hentrich explained that water represents purification and renewal. “Let’s purify our thoughts and desires. As a couple, let’s renew our love for one another.”
A loud “Yes!” rang out from the couples in response to the following vows: As families who want to realize God’s original dream and plan of creation, do you promise to become eternal loving couples who will inherit the tradition of living for the sake of others, as taught by Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and to make ideal families who will help realize God’s kingdom and true peace on earth? And do you promise to teach your children and grandchildren the value of purity before marriage and, as a couple, pledge to not commit adultery or to divorce?
The couples then slipped off their wedding bands and once again committed to one another, saying “With this ring, I thee wed.” They sealed the ring ceremony with a tender kiss.
A prayer was offered and then a heavenly proclamation was bestowed on all of the couples by our officiators, Jim and Linda Howell.
Dr. Hentrich concluded the renewal ceremony by sharing these words with everyone:
“You will notice that we have been talking about the renewal of your marriages today. That’s right, and we want you to have seriously renewed marriages. We want you to make a new beginning together and see significant improvements in many ways. Therefore, what you experienced today is only the beginning. There’s more to the renewal process and we will be offering a talk on what that means and what that can do for your marriages. Thank you very much.”
We were then all treated to a beautiful rendition of Leann Rimes’ song, “How Do I Live Without You?” by Hwa Jeong Martinez.
A group photo and individual photos of each couple were taken. Cake cutting, refreshments and happy fellowship in the Colorado Family Church’s cafe rounded out the lovely afternoon.
Here are some comments from participating couples:
“Thank you for the invitation for our renewed wedding vows. All the points that were made just rang so true in our hearts. Wedding bells seemed to be heard for everyone there or not there. Thank you for the friendship and sharing of food together. The beautiful flowers in our home remind us of our special day.”
“It was very nice and everyone was very kind. God bless you and your families.”