"True Parents' tradition" is a byword among Unification Church members. True Father himself has made it the subject of numerous speeches, and emphasized how important it is for each member to inherit the tradition from True Parents.
In the deepest sense, the tradition we need to inherit is the tradition of heart that True Parents have exemplified by a lifetime of sacrificial loving and willingness to pay indemnity (tang gam) for others. This book of tradition will not deal primarily with this very important internal meaning of tradition. Although I will sometimes have occasion to speak about attitude and heart, the main subject of this first book of The Tradition is of the external or ceremonial traditions associated with the Unification Church life of faith.
The basic mission of our True Parents is twofold. First, they are restoring humankind and the environment to God. Second, and at the same time, True Parents are building the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and through this, the Kingdom in spirit world as well. Thus, some of our traditions relate to the restoration of the past, while others are associated with the establishment of the ideal world.
I believe that ultimately True Father himself will chronicle all of our traditions definitively. Until that time comes, however, I feel that both leadership and membership throughout our worldwide movement need some minimum understanding of tradition. Accordingly, in this book I have outlined some basic traditions of our ceremonies, using as my sources True Father's speeches and the guidance he gave to the 36 Couples either by word or by example.
By setting down on paper the tradition of our ceremonies, it is not my intention to create complications or induce feelings of guilt. I feel that simple rules are best and that in some cases we must invoke God's wisdom to adapt any tradition to external circumstances. Thus, in the explanations which follow, you will find some essential points which should be followed absolutely, and others about which I offer suggestions or recommendations.
As Father himself has often said, the most important condition for the fulfillment of any tradition is the heart with which one acts, not the external form of the ritual itself. Therefore, if you acted contrary to the specifications of the traditions printed in this book in the past because of ignorance, as long as you at the time had the mind and heart of attending God, please do not worry now. Ours is a movement of heart, and one's restoration through Principle is not predicated upon the strict external observance of ceremony. The relationship between tradition, restoration and kingdom-building, however, is of vital importance, and will be discussed in a later volume. I simply hope that the descriptions presented within this book will provide guidelines which will be helpful in standardizing our ceremonies from this time on.
Even though the basic explanations presented in this book may not cover every possible circumstance, please try to catch the essential internal aspect and attempt to emulate the proper attitude of attendance and heart.
Ceremonies depend on time, location and circumstances. However, these three different conditions are not the same for the family as for the world level. I believe that even though True Father demonstrated certain points of tradition in ceremonies on the individual or family level, some of these may not be applicable for the worldwide level, and vice versa. Also, I believe that he shared some ceremonies with us in a symbolic way and that only later will they be substantialized. However, once you understand the form and substance of our tradition, I encourage you to carry out the traditions to the best of your ability. Traditions enable us to develop a deeper and more stable relationship with God through our restoration course, and are essential in guiding us toward the heavenly culture in God's Kingdom.
Once again, please understand that the words herein are not absolute. In future publications, I plan to further clarify the traditions presented in this book as well as other types of "tradition."
If True Father makes certain decisions regarding any of the traditions published which conflict with the information in this series of books, those particular sentences or sections would no longer be correct and in that case they should not be followed. As in all aspects of our life of faith, True Father's words have final authority.
In closing, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Mrs. Nancy Barton for her assistance with the compilation and writing of all material; to Mrs. Susan Reno for editing the final manuscript, to Mr. Jean-Francois Moulinet for the design; to Miss Grace Choi and Mrs. Angela Eisenbart for the layout; to Mr. Bob Ferguson for his illustrations; to Mrs. Leslie Holliday, Mr. Kerry Pobanz and Mrs. Laura Reinig for their proofreading; to Mr. Gary Caron and Mr. Robert Rattley for their assistance to the production of the book; and to the Editorial Committee composed of Rev. David Hose, Mrs. Nora Spurgin, Dr. John Sonneborn, Dr. Tyler Hendricks, Mrs. Lynda McKenzie, and Mrs. Susan Henry for their suggestions.
Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak