The women exchanged quick glances full of inner meaning. They already knew there would be a wedding sometime, but Sonseng-nim and Hak Ja Han had just become engaged on March 1st, and they had not expected it to happen so soon. That meant there was hardly any time left to prepare all the wedding garments, the food, the cleaning and decorating, and everything else!
"And furthermore," he continued, "there will be both a traditional Korean ceremony and a Western-style ceremony."
This was surprising news, for they had never heard of such a thing in Korea. Immediately, the women began translating this news into tasks to be done.
"This means two sets of clothing will have to be hand sewn in two weeks," they were thinking. "Where is the best place to buy the fabric? Who should do the buying, and who should do the sewing?" The wheels were whirring in their heads.
As soon as Teacher left the room, meetings were held to decide what had to be prepared and who would be assigned to each task. Soon they were hurrying in groups to the East Gate Market and South Gate Market for fabric, to the local Shi Jang (market) for food, and so on. Although they didn't have much money or time, they knew it should be beautifully done. And, most of all, it must be prepared very lovingly and prayerfully.
There were frequent prayers for guidance every day as they prepared each item. Even though some of the young women still had not overcome their disappointment in not being chosen as Sonseng-nim's bride, they worked from morning to night, and often even through the night, to help prepare for his wedding. After all, this was the marriage of "the lamb" mentioned in the last book of the Bible, Revelations. This was the biggest moment in the world, the time when God's people would become stronger, and they understood that it was a great privilege to be helping.
As the day drew closer, many of the members became very tired from working through the nights. Their eyes were red from sewing for hours without rest. Then, as if that wasn't enough, they learned that everyone who was invited to attend the marriage ceremony had to wear a new white gown. These gowns had to be made, as well.
Soon enough, the sun rose on the great day. The church was cleaned and polished once again, and some of the portable walls had been removed to make more space. It was hard to get flowers, but there were plants decorating the room, and on the front wall was a beautifully painted scene representing the world and the whole cosmos. From the ceiling hung the flags of the world. Never had this simple old building looked so beautiful.
The older members, robed in white, silently took their places on the floor, and soon the room was filled with the dazzling white gowns topped by black heads bowed in prayer.
Mr. Eu was the leader of the day, a sort of master of ceremonies. He announced to the people that the ceremony would now begin. It was still morning when Moon Sonseng-nim and Hak Ja Han entered the room. Everyone gazed silently at the pair and were once again filled with wonder to see their beloved 40 year old teacher with this young girl who would be his wife. Although everyone had had time by now to become accustomed to the idea, the question still occurred to many of them, "Isn't 17 years just TOO young for such a position? To be the real mother of the whole world, the whole cosmos, is too huge a mission for anyone, much less a simple immature girl."
And yet, they had to admit that she was, indeed, beautiful. She walked gracefully and calmly, her eyes cast humbly toward the floor. At the same time, there was a certain air of self-assurance about her.
This was the western ceremony, so she wore the beautiful white gown sewn by the ladies of the church. Although it was designed like a Korean dress, the fact that it was white and topped with a lace veil made it Western. In her arms were a few white flowers tied with bows of lace. Mrs. Won Bok Choi followed her and watched out for her gown and the train of lace.
Teacher wore an impeccable white suit with tails and a white bow tie. The members had never seen him looking so handsome.
The bride and groom walked together to the front of the room. They took seven steps, which signified going through the Old Testament Age, and stopped with both feet together and bowed. Then they took seven more slow steps signifying the New Testament Age. Again they stopped and bowed. Their minds were totally focused on the deep meaning of walking through history. Then the final seven steps were taken, signifying the Completed Testament Age. This brought them to the front of the room, and they bowed one last time.
Mr. Eu and Mrs. Choi stood on either side as the couple said their vows before heaven. There was no minister standing before them to tell them what to say. Everything was directed from heaven, and Teacher Moon said the words and told his bride what to say. Then he prayed. It was a long prayer with tears, for it was a serious occasion.
After the prayer, they walked out of the room together. Mr. Eu explained to everyone, "We will now wait for the Korean ceremony to be made ready. Let us keep a very prayerful attitude as we prepare the atmosphere for the second marriage ceremony." They all prayed and sang songs as they waited.
When they returned, Teacher Moon and Hak Ja Han looked most regal in the colorful Korean costumes with tall headdresses. Their brightness made a striking contrast against the white of the cloth-covered floor and the white-robed members. Again there were the vows and the prayers, with Mr. Eu and Mrs. Choi attending.
When this part of the ceremony was completed, Sonseng-nim turned to the members and announced that they were now officially blessed in marriage before heaven.
"Now, we have been purified before God," he said. "It is the beginning of a new lineage. Therefore, from this moment on, it will be very important to purify everything we use. In fact, once anyone is blessed in marriage, they should use only new things. Actually, we really should grow all our own food, make all our own clothes, even spin our own thread and weave our own cloth."
The members listened carefully. This was going to be a lot of work, so they wanted to understand exactly what to do. The older members, such as Mrs. Hong, remembered Ho Bin Ha's group and how they prepared clothing and food for Jesus and for the Lord of the 2nd Advent. "Would they be doing this sort of thing again?" she wondered. "If so, it will be a full time job for several people."
"However," he continued, "this is not practical for us. We have so much work to do to find members and restore the world. We cannot spend all our time raising cotton, spinning thread, planting rice, and so on. Therefore, we will continue to buy clothes and food at the market as before. But we will always sanctify everything before using it. For this, I will now create a new purified salt. We will start a new tradition of putting this special salt on all our new things once we are blessed. Then whatever we use will be purified, just as if we made it ourselves. This shall be called Holy Salt."
He turned to the altar, and measured some salt into a special container and said a prayer over it. This was the very first holy salt created, and all our holy salt used today descended from that first supply created at True Parents' wedding.
Then he turned back to the audience and began to speak. Mother sat on the side and listened, also. He spoke about the meaning of their wedding. He explained why his bride had to be so young and inexperienced. He explained many things to them for several hours. It seemed like a long speech to them, because they had already been sitting on the floor for so many hours. But he wanted to be sure they understood everything that was happening.
Finally, late in the afternoon, mealtime was announced. It was time for the Banquet of the Lord.
Low tables were quickly set up, and the food was carried from the kitchen around to the front door. (There was no door directly from the kitchen into the rest of the building. That way the smells and sounds of cooking could not disturb the activities in the main part of the building.)
Everything was beautifully prepared. Actually, it was rather simple fare by our standards today. There was some chicken and freshly made kimchee and a lot of rice. Who would have expected that kimchee would be served at the cosmic Banquet of the Lord? But for these chosen people, it was a wonderful treat, for they often had to exist on barley and chopped cabbage sprinkled with red pepper and garlic. Bowls of spring fruit rounded out the meal.
Then Sonseng-nim said to them, "I wish all of you could take home some mementos of this occasion. However, there may not be enough things to pass around. Therefore, let's draw numbers to see who will get the mementos."
One person's prize was a collection of bones from the chickens. "These bones you should keep forever," directed Teacher Moon, "although you may share some of them with others if you wish." To the others, he said, "you should keep the seeds from the fruit you eat here. These are very precious and should never be thrown out."
Then came entertainment. Everyone had a chance to get up and sing, and there was singing and dancing aplenty that night. Even the bride and groom sang and danced together. There was laughter and applause, for although this was a very serious occasion, it was also a very joyous one. The heavens were truly ringing with song and dance and joy.