The Words of the Blanchard Family
European Level Seung Hwa Ceremony
January 24th 2006
Vannes – France
The ‘Seung Hwa’ ceremony of our brother in faith, Henri Blanchard, first member and president of the Unification Movement in France, took place in Vannes, Brittany on the west coast of France, on Tuesday, January 24th, 2006. About 120 persons assembled in a tent erected near the funeral parlor outside the city of Vannes. The white color of the tent, the green grass under our feet and the smell of flowers gave the ceremony at one and the same time both a pastoral and a spiritual quality. A whole coach load from Paris filled up half of the places, while the immediate family members filled the podium. Mr. Takenori Hashimoto, European FFWPU Vice President, and Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General of the European chapter of IIFWP, had come from England with Carlo and Barbara Zacharelli representing Britain. Numerous participants from Austria, among whom Theresa Heizinger and Gertrude Koch, were also present.
Flowers and messages from the whole world continued to arrive, as the ceremony got under way. At 2 pm, Dominique Dedours, the dynamic Master of Ceremonies, inaugurated the ceremony by leading cheerful holy songs intended to assist Henri's ascent into the spiritual world. Then the most important messages were read. First, the moving and deep message of True Father himself, given that same morning: "Henri Blanchard has been faithful to his duty. Henri has been an absolutely honest, sincere and faithful man".
Then came those of Rev. Kwak, President of the International FFWPU, Dr Yong Cheol Song, Continental Director of FFWPU in Europe, and those of other personalities and friends of Henri Blanchard who had not been able to come, among whom particularly Reiner Vincenz, his spiritual father.
There were also two testimonies: Dr Colette Takigawa recalled some experiences with Henri, and Mark Brann recalled Henri's marvelous character through close experiences with Henri over many years. Jean-François Moulinet, president of FFWPU in France, read some passages from a book of testimonies written by Henri in 1985, one of which had been extracted from an article that appeared in Today’s World. Most touching of all, at the end, Ginny, one of Henri’s daughters, testified to her father, reminding everyone of his high standard of living for others and of his relationship to God; then Hilda, his widow, very brave, yet frail at the same time, concluded with simple and deep words, all full of Heaven’s deepest love.
At the end, sticks of frankincense were lit, as the farewell homage of the participants, for Henri’s ascent. After a last song and a concluding prayer, the procession went to the neighboring graveyard, for the interment of the coffin, signifying the end of the journey on Earth of our dear Henry.. It was another moving moment, all joined in song once more, family and friends alike; this day was so sunny, it was as if God Himself had sent a message to Henri, by giving us all a really bright and sunny day. Nature looked resplendent under a bright sun, as though all creation were smiling at Henri's ascent. After a final prayer, Hilda invited all to a coffee shop for a time of sharing. It was about 6pm, on this January 24th, 2006. London, January 27th, European Office Report.
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