Stuttgart, Germany—The 2017 UN International Day of Families was celebrated by conducting an Interfaith Peace Blessing ceremony.
The May 21 event was jointly organized by the Stuttgart chapters of UPF and its affiliated organizations Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP).
The UPF representative in Stuttgart, Hubert Arnoldi, as the master of ceremonies, read some excerpts on the UN observance, which is celebrated on May 15. Then he explained how receiving the Interfaith Peace Blessing can help to unfold original love.
Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the founders of UPF and its affiliated organizations, throughout their lives have stressed the value of marriage and family for the individual as well as for society, Mr. Arnoldi said. For this reason, they began the marriage blessing tradition, which has spread around the world. In this ceremony, married couples renew their marriage vows and unwed couples give their vows to each other.
The UPF founders have taught that true love is best realized in a family in which God’s love resides. The relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters should all be imbued with fulfilling and lasting love, Mr. Arnoldi said.
Following the tradition of the Interfaith Peace Blessing, 10 representatives of religious communities offered a blessing prayer for all the participants. The communities that were represented were Sikhism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, Christian Science, and Unificationism.
Three couples—the Sikh religion, Sufi Islam and Scientology—received the blessing of renewing their marriage.
At the conclusion, Hubert and Yoshiko Arnoldi offered a special prayer. The atmosphere was very high as the song The Blessing by the group Celtic Woman was played to mark the end of the ceremony.
Mr. Subhraag Singh of the Sikh religion was awarded an Ambassador for Peace certificate.
After the traditional “family photo,” all the participants remained for several hours, conversing and enjoying coffee and cake. Cordial thanks to all the participants and helpers!