At 7:00 pm on Saturday, 7.11 by the Heavenly Calendar in the 1st year of Cheon Il Guk (August 23, 2013), at the Cheon Bok Gung Church grand sanctuary, about 1000 church members, along with the Family Federation choir members, shared a service of praise and celebration commemorating the First Anniversary of the Universal Seonghwa of Sun Myung Moon, the True Parent of Heaven.
Members who attended the Memorial Celebration
Local Family Federation choirs from the greater Seoul area, as well as Daegu gathered to sharea choral festival in memorium to True Father, which included songs dedicated to the memory of True Father, songs that True Parents have enjoyed singing and was a beautiful and harmonious beginning to the events of the first anniversary of True Father’s Universal Seonghwa.
The first part of the evening featured a memorial video about True Father’s life, the opening prayer, and a message of support and encouragement, with the second part including choral offerings from eight choirs, with the theme Crown of Glory, poetry readings dedicated to True Father, and closing comments to finish off the evening.
Opening Prayer by Man-woong Cho, head of the Family Department
Man-woong Cho, head of the family department said, in his opening prayer, “Now as it is nearly one year since our True Father departed this earth, and we approach the First Anniversary of the Universal Seonghwa of True Parent of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, these choirs from around the country have gathered here to offer songs of praise expressing their beautiful hearts and their minds which adore heaven. Please receive these songs of adoration and praise for True Father that we offer here today.”
Testimonial by Chang-shik Yang, Chairman of the Unification Movement in Korea
Following the prayer, Dr. Chang-shik Yang, Chairmanof the Unification Movement in Korea offered the message of solace and support, as well as gratitude toward the eight choirs who had prepared their offerings as part of the choral praise festival, “As children, it is our duty to give comfort and encouragement to our True Father now in the Heavenly Kingdom, and our True Mother, here with us on the earth. With our jeongseong and love, we have gathered to share this time of beautiful song together. We have planned and prepared 15 events to commemorate the first anniversary of True Father’s Seongwha, and we are especially thankful that this beautiful memorial festival of choral praise is playing the special role of opening the door to our upcoming week of events.”
Eight Choirs presented Choral Offerings
The choral selections that followed were the focus of the evening, and includedofferings by the Dalgubul Choir (Daegu Church), the Cheon Bok Gung Japanese Choir (Cheon Bok Gung), Seongae Choir (Gwangjin Church), the South Bucheon Praise Choir (South Bucheon Church), Cheon Shim Choir (Cheon Bok Gung), the Hallelujah Choir (Deokyang Church), the YangcheonOgMansei Choir (Yangcheon Church) and the Seongeun Choir (Guri Church), with 287 singers participating.
The choirs in the memorial choral festival were not competing against each other, but purely offering their most beautiful sounds to celebrate True Father.
Songs that were offered included Going Toward Cheon Il Guk, The Boatman’s Longing, My Hometown Medley, HolloArirang& Korea’s Eight Most Beautiful Sights, Dear God I Love only You, The Way my Beloved has Gone, Parents, GoyangMujung&OmmayaNunaya, Love for the Lord (original title: Love for the Cross), One Word, Family Pledge, Missing our Father, Song of Longing, and Seinogajeni, some of which were songs that True Father particularly liked to sing, and others were songs expressing the members’ longing to see True Father again.
As each choir performed with their beautifully united harmonies and countermelodies, they received an enthusiastic warm round of support from the entire congregation.
IjuJeon, a member of the Cheon Bok Gung choir expressed the sentiment of the singers participating in the festival, "With our singing, we did our best to return the amazing grace we have received from True Father as we reflected on his amazing life and all that he gave us through the many deep and meaningful messages of truth that we received from him."
After the choral works were finished, Jong-won Koh, Director of the ShimjeongMun Academy read a poem in memory of True Father. The poem was "Crown of Glory" which was written by True Father himself at age 16, and which received great attention and awards in the 2002 World Poetry Competition.
Final remarks by No Hi Pak, Chairman of the Tongil Foundation
Wrapping up the evening, Tongil Foundation Chairman No Hi Pak said, "Today's Memorial Choral Festival was a very moving experience. A big thank you to all of the choirs who participated for your hard work and sincere dedication to make this such a meaningful event."
Three Cheers of OgMansei
The harmony and moving emotion of the Universal Seonghwa of Sun Myung Moon, the True Parent of Heaven, Earth and Humankind Memorial Choral Festival was completed when In-young Song, Daegu Regional Leader, led everyone in three stirring cheers of OgMansei to finish off the evening.
Organizers say that in the upcoming years they will hold a Universal Seonghwa of the True Parent of Heaven, Earth and Humankind Memorial Choral Festival every August.