First Memorial Service of Heung Jin Nim’s Seunghwa Ceremony
January 1, 1985
World Mission Center, Bamboo Room
It was noontime on God’s Day. Men and women lined up in the west corridor behind the Bamboo Room on the fourth floor of the World Mission Center. The women were dressed in white azimut linguries, imparting a graceful and holy feeling. The men looked distinguished in their white ties and dark suits. They all talked excitedly among themselves while final preparations were being made to celebrate The First Memorial Service of Heung Jin Nim’s Seunghwa Ceremony. By special invitation Father had requested the attendance of all couples in the New York area from the 36 through the 777 Blessings, and representatives of the 1800, 2,075, and 6,000 couples.
A signal was given from within and the guests began to file in. The Bamboo Room had been utterly transformed. Pastel, multicolored curtains were draped along the walls and church flags were suspended in long rows from the ceiling. A white cloth covered the floor. The offering table was richly laden with the traditional, patterned stacks of fruit, cookies, and candy; to the fore were plates filled with rice cakes and the best Korean dishes. To the left stood a tiered cake, decorated with yellow roses made of frosting. A few feet in front of the offering table was an altar with candles on each end and an incense holder in the center. Above everything was a picture of Heung Jin Nim, adorned with white streamers and pink flowers, mounted in the center of the large banner which announced the ceremony.
Rev. Kwak drew back the curtain at the south doorway as True Parents entered. They were followed by the younger children, then the elder ones. Father lit the candles while Mother and Hoon Sook Nim helped the younger children form a line. Then, standing before the altar, Father took Mother’s hand and began to pray.
Father prayed in a low and serious voice for almost exactly 21 minutes. Mother’s expression was especially intent as she listened to his prayer, and only once did she brush away a tear.
At the close of the prayer, Yeon Jin Nim immediately came to her parents with arms outstretched and cried, “Omma! Oppa!” After some reassurance she was sent back to the line to perform the rest of the ceremony. True Parents sat down in the gilt, red velvet chairs which had been prepared for them.
First the True Children made one full bow, and then the guests. Hoon Sook Nim was the first among them to approach the altar. She lit three sticks of incense in the flame of the candle, put the sticks in the incense holder on the altar, and then made a full how. Following her were Sung Jin Nim, his wife and two children; Hyo Jin Nim, Nan Sook Nim and their child; Ye Jin Nim, Jin Whi Nim and their two children; In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim; Hyun Jin Nim and Kook Jin Nim; Kwon Jin Nim and Sun Jin Nim; Yeon Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim; Young Jin Nim and Jeung Jin Nim; and finally Un Jin Nim. Each lit one stick of incense and bowed. There was some tolerant and bemused laughter when the two littlest daughters each attempted unsuccessfully to light the incense. With encouragement from True Parents and their elders, their brothers rescued them with some amiable and sensible assistance. Then all the children were seated.
Representing the blessed children, Jin Hun Park came to the altar. Next were Rev. Won Pil Kim, Rev. Reiner Vincenz, Pres. Jae Suk Lee, Dr. Mose Durst and Mr. Osami Kuboki, who all came together. Dr. and Mrs. Bo Hi Pak made the last offering of incense and gave their bow.
Hoon Sook Nim prepared a meal for Heung Jin Nim from the offering table, and then she and Hyo Jin Nim lit a candle atop the cake. When they blew it out, the guests offered sustained applause. They proceeded to cut the cake together with a sword in the traditional way.
Heung Jin Nim actually departed for the spiritual world on January 2. The memorial service of his Seunghwa ceremony was held one day in advance in order to prepare symbolically for the day of his arrival. The heart of the service is to share in the very first moment of his new life.
Sacrificed in Our Place
We should always pray for Heung Jin Nim. As Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak later explained, the purpose of the three-day- prayer vigil, which followed the memorial service was to share our love and respect for him, and more importantly, to renew our awareness of his special dispensation. It was a time to really focus on Heung Jin Nim’s precious heart and destiny. We should recall his example of loyalty and filial piety, and repent that we have not fulfilled our own responsibility adequately. We must understand that Heung Jin Nim was sacrificed in our place.
Heung Jin Nim’s sacrifice and ascension held tremendous significance for God’s providence on the worldwide level and for the Children’s Course. True Parents could declare the Day of the Victory of Love on the foundation of these events. They did not occur for our benefit alone, but served the whole of the dispensational process by moving it far ahead of schedule. Heung Jin Nim’s work in the spiritual world will facilitate more rapid progress for God on earth.
From the spiritual world, Heung Jin Nim has appeared to members in Africa, Asia, Europe, and America, and has directly guided them. He has told them how very busy he is, how ceaselessly he is working in so many different areas. Knowing this, we must renew our dedication and our determination to work hard to fulfill God’s will.