On January 1, Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the New Year’s Day Service in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. This year marks the second year of the “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, which will be observed on January 26, 2006.
At five o’clock in the morning, the Shinbashira and the Service performers first offered their prayers at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall, and then they proceeded to the Main Sanctuary, where the Shinbashira read aloud the Service prayer on behalf of all the followers. Looking back upon the past year, he said: “During the first year of the ‘three years, one thousand days’ season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, we were able to engage in salvation work and make headway along the path of spiritual growth. We are truly grateful for Your guidance.” He went on to say, “As we are now prepared to embark upon the second year of the Oyasama 120th Anniversary activities, all of us Yoboku are firmly determined to implement the teachings with our minds refreshed and carry out Oyasama’s intention by promoting the work of spreading the teachings and saving others.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were joyfully performed after the Service prayer. The Shinbashira then proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to offer the everliving Oyasama his New Year’s greetings, accompanied by the Service performers. He said: “Throughout the second year of the Oyasama 120th Anniversary activities, we shall continue to work hard as Your instruments, follow Your Divine Model, and endeavor to realize the construction of the Joyous Life World by imparting the intention of the Parent to the world.” Large numbers of followers returned to Jiba and pledged to dedicate themselves to missionary activities and salvation work.