Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 348

Cheon Seong Gyeong Book 11: Ceremonies and Holy Days
Chapter 3: Ceremonies and Rituals
Section 2: The Seonghwa Ceremony, 08-15


(8) Throughout your life, you should have nothing to be ashamed of before your wife or husband. You should be able to say, "I have kept true to the tradition of safeguarding God's pure lineage in order to bequeath it to my descendants. I have lived my life according to the tradition of building the kingdom of heaven, where God desires purity, and now I am departing. I am coming to You, my Father, and I entrust myself to You." With that, the commemoration of your death will be called a Seunghwa Ceremony.

(9) People do not know what it means to die. They think it is a sorrowful occasion, but it is not. Death is a transition from a lower-dimensional world to a higher-dimensional world by crossing the bridge of love. That is why the Unification Church calls death Seunghwa. To die is to ascend to a higher dimension. It is possible only through love.

(10) A funeral in the Unification Church is called a Seunghwa Ceremony. Since it is a ceremony of seunghwa (ascension), you should not hold on to the deceased and cry. When the spirit of the dead person sees you cry over him or her, that spirit will lament. He or she will say, "The people's ignorance is a rope that ties me down and prevents me from going on my way." Since we know these things, we in the Unification Church call it a Seunghwa Ceremony. "Seunghwa" means soaring gloriously to heaven. With the power of love, you should lift the deceased up. Instead of pulling the dead person down, you should lift him or her up.

(11) The Seunghwa Ceremony began with Heung-jin. The meaning of "victory of love" in the Day of Victory of Love is being victorious over death through love. Other people's mothers would be overwhelmed with sorrow, writhing, and wailing with deep emotion, but Mother was required not to shed tears. We needed to hold his ceremony within three days of his passing. We had to proclaim victory over death. It is on this basis that we can hold the Seunghwa Ceremony in the Unification Church. It is a ceremony of going beyond death and onward to joy. Those who go through the Seunghwa Ceremony can easily cross over all the valleys in the spirit world.

(12) The word "death" is sacred. It is not a word that should evoke sadness and anguish. That is why I announced that I changed Seunghwa to Seonghwa. The character seong (聖) means to be sacred or holy. We should no longer use seung (昇) meaning "to ascend." Seonghwa is a term I have coined. The previous word, Seunghwa, did not clearly reflect the sacredness of death, so I rectified it and announced that it is now Seonghwa. The moment of entry into the spirit world is the time when you enter the world of ecstasy and victory. It is the moment after your life on earth has bloomed and borne fruit when you embrace the fruit of your life. It is a moment that comes only once. That is why you should rejoice in that moment. In that moment, others should congratulate you as much as they desire and then send you off. In that moment, they should shed tears of joy, not tears of sadness. Every person has eternal life. Compared to the span of eternity, the period of three days after death is shorter than a second. So the question is, "Why should you feel sad about it?" If you lament during that time, your prospects for eternal life will vanish. How dreadful is that? It is so true. It is a time when people should shed tears of joy, not tears of sadness. This Seonghwa refers to laying out the body of the deceased for three days and offering devotions for his or her passage into the spirit world. I have changed the term Seunghwa Ceremony to Seonghwa Ceremony.

The Wonjeon Ceremony

(13) Members of the Unification Church overcome fear of the spirit world. I have no fear of death. The Fall brought about death, so religion should create the realm of resurrection. Based on the Day of Victory of Love, we could begin holding the Seunghwa (ascension) Ceremony. Also, on that condition, we could call the burial site the Wonjeon, which means "original palace." It is not about dying but about the direct passage to the kingdom of heaven. This palace is a link from the earthly nation to the heavenly nation. That is the meaning of Wonjeon. There is no religion in the world with anything like it other than the Unification Church.

(14) The place of burial for deceased members of the Unification Church will be known as a Wonjeon. To enter the Wonjeon means to find our way to the original palace within our mother's womb. Where is your Wonjeon? It is the inside of your mother's womb before you were born. From the moment your father's sperm met your mother's ovum, although one was small and the other large, they breathed together, clung to each other, and lived in joy. They dwelt together, holding on to each other and giving each other a boost. You need to pass through the ideal of that Wonjeon. In the word Wonjeon, the character jeon (殿) means house. It is the same character as the jeon in goongjeon, meaning palace. You are to find your way to the origin within God's ideal, which existed before your mother's ovum met your father's sperm, and you were born on earth.

(15) Do you know what a mortuary table is? When a person dies, before the body is placed in a coffin, it is washed clean and prepared. Before the body can be moved into a coffin, it is placed on the table and washed clean. Unless someone can unite in heart with the deceased at that place, the body cannot be placed in the coffin. Who is supposed to carry out this task? It should be done by the person who loved the deceased the most. The garments for the deceased should be prepared with care in advance, and the deceased should be dressed in them before being sent off. The cerements are the garments that the body is dressed in when it is placed in the coffin. A representative, loyal friend, or filial son or daughter should receive the fabric for the cerements and sew them. If the deceased is to go to the kingdom of heaven, to a good place in the spirit world, he or she should have upheld the tradition of a loyal patriot and loyal subject. A Korean funeral has this type of meaning. The place where the Unification Church buries its dead is not called a graveyard but a Wonjeon. To liberate heaven and earth, we should desire to be buried in such a place. The Wonjeon refers to the original palace. It is not a place where just anyone can be buried. Only those who have been martyred or whose life was on a comparable level can be buried there. 

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