Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: Offering Worship

In Jiba, the Main Sanctuary, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, and the Memorial Hall are three separate buildings, which are connected to one another through the Corridor. When people offer worship, they sit down, clap their hands four times, and bow their heads. Having offered their prayers and expressed their appreciation to God, they raise their heads and clap four times again. Incidentally, in cases where they perform the seated service, they do so only in the worship halls—not in the Foundress’ Sanctuary or the Memorial Hall.

To worship, people do not have to dress in any specific way but should show common sense—for example, they should take off their coat and scarf as well as wash their hands if necessary. Since the Main Sanctuary is open twenty-four hours a day, they can freely come in and worship anytime, even in the middle of the night.

At regional churches, you see a shrine in the center of the altar where the medo (symbol of worship) of God the Parent is enshrined, a shrine to the right where the medo of Oyasama is enshrined, and one or more shrines to the left that represent the Mitama-sama. All the shrines are located in the same building—not in separate buildings like at Jiba. The monthly service and the morning and evening services are performed on the upper dais, where the five instruments used for the morning and evening services are usually arranged. Turning toward each shrine, worshipers pay respects to God the Parent, Oyasama, and the Mitama-sama in this order.

People can worship God the Parent and Oyasama through the medo since it is bestowed directly from Jiba.

The most important building of each church is its sanctuary. The rest—such as a building where the church head minister and his or her family live—are regarded as secondary. In other words, God the Parent and Oyasama are the master of the church, and the head minister plays a leading role in serving God and Oyasama. Whenever you visit a church, therefore, you should first worship in its sanctuary before seeing the head minister or other residents of the church. Also, you should worship in the sanctuary again when you leave the church.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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