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At 3pm the MC’s welcomed the guests that were trickling in bit by bit. Musical and artistic presentations of all sorts prepared the atmosphere for the festive event, celebrating marriage and family. At first, Mr. Mamadou Diop, member of the city council of Biel/Bienne, addressed the around 80 persons in the audience about the importance of marriage and family and also the need for intercultural/interreligious understanding in a multi-cultural society. He valued the event as an important step towards peace and harmony among the different faiths in our society. Mr. Heiner Handschin, President of FFWPU Switzerland, spoke then about the current state of marriage and family in a society in loss of values and confused about these most fundamental institutions. He emphasized the need for the religious communities to unite in order to uphold the universal family values and protect especially children from a reckless socio-cultural revolution ready to turn everything upside down. Finally, to close the first part, Ms. Chantal Chételat Komagata, Secretary General of UPF Switzerland and citizen of the city of Biel/Bienne, introduced the concept of True Family Values and the World Peace Blessing in a detailed presentation that lead people to understand the purpose and the process of the ceremony. Through this the stage was set for the next part of the program, the Ceremony itself.
After a short break, scarves were distributed and the Intercultural World Peace Blessing ceremony started with a water ceremony in which 7 representatives of different faiths offered a prayer, words of wisdom or a poem while pouring the water of their pitch, symbolizing the current of their faith, into a common jar , symbolizing all faiths coming together into one. Holy juice was then distributed and with beautiful musical background, couples or individuals, thinking of their absent spouse, shared the cup. Almost 20 couples from different faiths and cultural backgrounds were present or represented. This brought a very rich atmosphere of interreligious and intercultural peace and harmony. After the completion of the Holy Wine Ceremony, the Officiators offered a prayer and meditation. This was followed by the sprinkling of the Holy Water that had been collected from the pitches of the 7 faith representatives. All reaffirmed the commitment to keeping fidelity and peace in the couple, to educating children in keeping their purity before marriage and to investing time and energy into spreading these True Family Values around. The ceremony concluded with the proclamation of the completion of the World Peace Blessing in Biel, Nov. 11, 2017. The handmade cake appeared as a five-story work of art that was applauded with a celebration song.
The banquet followed combined with musical and cultural presentations. All participants, at that time around 100, shared a warm fellowship, enjoyed the banquet with delicious food and offered some additional artistic contributions for the great enjoyment of the whole audience. The event concluded at around 9 pm. It successfully combined a serious part: contributing to a sustainable society through the commitment of maintaining True Family Values and a fun part: celebrating marriage and family.