First Memorial Service Performed for Third Shinbashira

On June 24, the first memorial service for the third Shinbashira, Zenye Nakayama, who passed away for rebirth on the same day of last year at the age of 81, was conducted at Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. The service was attended by a total of about 3,600 followers including family members, Church Headquarters’ officials, head ministers of directly supervised churches, diocese superintendents, and staff members of Church Headquarters.
The service began at the Main Sanctuary, where the Dance with Hand Movements was performed to the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo and the Twelve Songs. Thereafter, the Shinbashira changed into his kyofuku robe and proceeded to the Memorial Hall for a ceremony. The Shinbashira read a prayer in honor of the third Shinbashira, in which he said: “Serving as the president of the Young Men’s Association from an early age and as the first president of the Boys and Girls Association upon its establishment, you guided many young people along the path with parental love while walking the path of faith with them. After succeeding to the position of the Shinbashira, you worked at the forefront of the Tenrikyo community for about 30 years, during which you exerted your full measure of sincerity in working for the growth of the path, nurturing next generations, and promoting the enhancement of church substance. Even after retiring from the position, you dedicated the rest of your life to engaging in single-hearted salvation and providing followers with care and guidance with your whole heart. . . . Taking your instructions to heart once again, we are determined to work vigorously for world salvation in accord with the Divine Model as we are putting the final touches to our pre-anniversary activities. I pray that you continue to watch over Yoboku and followers, who are striving to make spiritual growth as they work hard in this seasonable time. I also ask for your guidance that enables them to continue on their journey of spiritual growth and to move forward on the path of single-hearted salvation so as to be blessed with the further growth of the path.”
Prayers were then offered by family members and distinguished guests, as well as by representatives of Church Headquarters’ staff members, of church head ministers, and of other followers. The ceremony came to an end with the words of appreciation delivered by Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Hiroaki Yamazawa.

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