Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: Morning and Evening Services

The morning and evening services are performed every day at Jiba and regional churches.

Church Headquarters sets the times of the morning and evening services based on sunrise and sunset—the times thus vary with the seasons. Regional churches set their own specific times.

When coming to worship at a church, you will see the instruments that are used for the morning and evening services. They are arranged on the dais in the following order from right to left: large drum, counter (which helps keep track of the number of repetitions), wooden clappers, cymbals, and gong. The number and positions of these instruments are the same for the entire Tenrikyo community, but the size of the instruments may vary depending on the church.

The service performers, referring to the five people who play the instruments, usually wear the kyofuku robe. Other worshipers gather in the worship hall in time for the services.

The morning and evening services are led by the person who plays the wooden clappers. A daily service begins with all worshipers paying respects together to God the Parent, expressing their gratitude for the blessings that they receive each day.

The songs used in the morning and evening services are sections one, two, and three of the Mikagura-uta. Section one, which is performed twenty-one times, is the following song: “Ashiki o harote tasuke tamae, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto”—translated in English as “Sweeping away evils, please save us, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto.” Section two is performed once, and section three nine times in three sets of three each. Worshipers join in singing the Mikagura-uta while performing the hand movements taught by Oyasama. It is vitally important for Tenrikyo followers to learn these hand movements.

After completing the performance of the service, all worshipers pay respects together to Oyasama and the Mitama-sama. The service performers then step down from the dais.

Afterward, worshipers may practice the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements, read from the Ofudesaki, or listen to a brief talk on the teachings. It depends on the church.

The morning and evening services should be performed with all worshipers’ minds united as one.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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