The May Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding.
At nine o’clock in the morning, the Shinbashira, accompanied by other Service performers, worshiped at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary, where he read the prayer to God the Parent.
In the prayer, the Shinbashira said that Tenrikyo was nearing the halfway point in the “three years, one thousand days” season designated for decisive efforts to prepare for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. He went on to say: “All of us have been making diligent efforts with utmost sincerity in our respective positions and roles, aiming to accelerate single-hearted salvation. Being embraced by Your profound parental love, we have received Your free and unlimited blessings, which enabled us to make further spiritual growth. We are truly grateful.” He then expressed his resolution by saying: “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, are resolved to settle firmly in mind that You, God the Parent, out of the single-hearted desire to save us, Your children, revealed the truth of the origin of the world and taught the Service for universal salvation in order to reenact in the present the very workings through which human beings were created, so that world salvation could be hastened. Those of us who have been drawn to the path a step ahead of others are not only grateful but keenly aware of the mission entrusted to us. We are, therefore, determined to convey this true teaching to the world and devote our utmost sincerity in order to construct the world in which all people are able to bask in the blessings of God the Parent.”
He then asked for God’s blessings by saying: “We pray that You, who have been guiding us along the path, will use us as Yoboku and enable us to transform this world–a world in which people are prone to follow a dreadful and dangerous path–by reconstructing it into the Joyous Life World.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyfully performed in harmony with the music of the nine musical instruments, while the followers filling the four worship halls joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service, in high spirits.
Following the Service performance, Honbu-in Kazuo Nagao took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began by saying: “We followers have been striving to advance along the path by setting aside a period of �three years, one thousand days’ leading up to the 120th Anniversary. We thus have been making ardent efforts to bring joy to the everliving Oyasama so as to make Her feel at ease.” He then quoted some of the Shinbashira’s words: “This year, which marks the second year, the determined efforts of each and every one of us will significantly influence the achievement of the anniversary-related activities,” and “This year is a year in which we ought to accelerate our progress while ensuring that our efforts are implemented in a concerted manner.” Based on these words, Honbu-in Nagao continued: “Now we are almost halfway through the pre-anniversary season. Let us take this opportunity to ponder, once again, over the day of origin of Oyasama’s anniversaries and reaffirm our resolutions.” He then outlined the events that occurred in the Divine Model of Oyasama between 1882 and 1887 and referred to the painstaking efforts made by the early followers including the first Shinbashira.
Further, he explained the intention contained in Instructions One and Two as well as the significance of setting aside a “three years, one thousand days” season before Oyasama’s anniversaries. He concluded by calling upon the listeners to make diligent efforts to bring back as many people as possible to Jiba during the remainder of the “three years, one thousand days” season so that they could connect their minds with Oyasama and thereby observe the anniversary with the great joy that can only be savored by those who have devotedly followed the path.