Name: PIERCE, MARION
Date of Birth: 6/23/1924
Ascension Date: 5/3/2008
Memorial Location: Rose Hills Memorial Park3888 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA 90601
Contact Name: Steven Pierce
Seung Hwa Ceremony Date: 05/03/2008
Steve and Katsuko Pierce story
May 20, 2008
Our family recently had the experience to hold a Seung Hwa ceremony for our
mother. I would like to report about the positive impact this had on a family
member. My brother has changed so much through this experience. At first, he
didn't even want to have a burial, partly due to financial concerns, partly due
to an inability to trust our church, and partly due to our parents' common wish
to be cremated, which I was aware of.
The forces to prevent the heavenly tradition of Seung Hwa from being followed
were strong. This would have been so sad for our family, having lasting results.
Our father died in 1994 and his instructions for cremation and burial at sea
were carried out. Only four of our immediate family and two or three bridge club
friends watched from the promontory of Point Loma in San Diego as an airplane
flew miles away over sea at the appointed time. That was the only tribute, over
in a matter of minutes, for such a great man who led two hundred men into
Germany in World War II. He later contributed to causes to restore a just
society, and personally gave aid to a village in Burma. We came so close to
having this lonely and remote ending to life repeated with our mother.
I, together with Katsuko and our daughter Jennifer persevered to reach a
better outcome, fully aware that we had no preparation or foundation. With the
generous help from a small team of Region 12 staff and local families, together
we overcame all this and brought about a most beautiful Seung Hwa and Won Jeon
ceremony. My brother reluctantly gave his agreement for our plan, as was legally
required. His heart began to change when he consented and told me to "follow the
The first forty hours we prayed each hour. Then, families came to our house
to sing, study, and pray every night. Reading Father's words (“Earthly Life and
Spirit World”) was essential to gaining the heart and understanding that we
would need to be successful.
When it came time to sign expensive and forbidding contracts, there was no
trace of dread but only the peace that what was being done was absolutely right.
Then the day of ceremony came. My brother's dread of some grim Puritan funeral
procession evaporated as soon as he walked into the chapel and felt (as if hit
by a blast of oxygen) the atmosphere of sincerity and unity, as we put the
finishing touches on the beautiful decorations. Immediately he began thanking
everyone and taking pictures. Members really embraced him. After a loving
tribute to our mother, the Won Jeon ceremony was held just a few miles away. As
spontaneously as a child, my brother joined Rev. Henning and myself in leading
three cheers of “Mansei” at the ceremony's conclusion.
That evening, instead of retreating to his favorite pastimes, without any
hesitation he joined our family fellowship for the first time, consisting of
singing, reading, and prayer. That can only happen when the heart is opened and
all barriers are removed. Therefore, we found that day where to get the power to
change heart and dissolve barriers. Our global family has many specialties:
adoption through offering, inter-cultural marriages, Seung Hwa celebrations of
transition, crossing bridges of peace, interfaith work. Let's use our strengths.
We are so proud of True Parents and our global family.
The Pierce Family -- May 20, 2008