The Autumn Grand Service for the 173rd Year of the Teaching

Followers Pledge to Take Steady Steps to Spread the Path of Single-Hearted Salvation

On October 26, the Autumn Grand Service was conducted at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant, commemorating the Teaching’s day of origin when God the Parent became openly revealed in the world for the first time in 1838 upon the arrival of the promised time and began the “ultimate teaching.” Pondering over the day of origin, approximately 80,000 followers, some of whom had returned from overseas, listened intently to the Shinbashira’s sermon and once again took to heart the parental love of God, who seeks to “save all humankind.”

The weather forecast on the Service day said that the sky would be overcast with isolated rains in northern Nara Prefecture―where the Home of the Parent is located―as a winter atmospheric pressure pattern had set in over the Japanese archipelago. It was chilly before dawn, as the sky was covered with low clouds. After the morning service, however, the sun peeked through the clouds hovering over the eastern side of the Home of the Parent, giving the thick clouds an amber hue.

Shortly before 8:00 A.M.―the hour at which Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of Tsukihi―the Shinbashira left the Staff Quarters with other Service performers for the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay respects before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary.

In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira said: “On this day today, as we return our thoughts once again to the Teaching’s day of origin, we Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku are resolved to make daily efforts to cultivate the mind of sincerity while devoting ourselves to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and saving others so as to live in accord with the intention You expressed when You said, ‘At this time I have descended here to save all humankind.’ We are, therefore, committed to taking a firm step forward on the path in the hope that all people in the world will come to help one another as brothers and sisters.”

The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyously performed. By the time the performance of the Kagura Service began, the thick clouds in the sky had begun to clear, and warm autumnal sunshine occasionally fell on the Sanctuary precincts. The congregation including those who filled the four worship halls and the Corridor as well as those who sat on the benches installed in the precincts joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service.

Following the Service performance, the Shinbashira took the podium to deliver the sermon.

According to the Overseas Department, a total of 791 followers returned to the Home of the Parent to attend the Service from 22 countries and regions: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Kenya, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, the U.K., and the U.S. mainland.

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