The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding.
At 9:00 in the morning, amid the elegant sounds of gagaku music, which resounded throughout the Sanctuary precincts, the Shinbashira and other Service performers began their procession toward the Main Sanctuary, stopping along the way at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay their respects. Arriving in the Main Sanctuary, the Shinbashira delivered the prayer, which he began by expressing gratitude for the constant blessings of God the Parent. Then he said, “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, are resolved to make strenuous efforts during this timely season, while strengthening our faith and steadfastly devoting our sincerity.” He went on to say: “People the world over have created suffering in their lives, simply because they remain unknowing of their true Parent. With Your help, we shall teach them the origin that gives them life, so that all people will be able to replace their minds and work together to build a world of everlasting joy.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyfully performed while the followers joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service.
Following this, Honbu-in Yoshitaro Ueda took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first explained Tenrikyo’s view of the family, basing himself on the Scriptures. Referring to the current state of affairs in the world, he said, “Whenever juveniles commit shocking crimes, it is always the ‘absence of the father and excessive interference by the mother’ that is pointed out as the cause underlying the juveniles’ antisocial behavior.” He then stressed the importance of harmonizing both motherhood and fatherhood by saying: “In contrast to the emotional relationship between mother and child, the relationship between father and child is rational. It is the father who must teach the child social rules.”
He spoke also on the issue of divorce, which is becoming an increasingly serious social problem. He said: “We can probably say that more than half of all married couples are either presently experiencing marital problems or have experienced them in the past. Marital problems, besides affecting husband and wife, can leave deep scars on their children, thus casting a shadow over their future. Marital harmony is, therefore, one of the major topics we need to focus on in our efforts to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved.”
He went on to say that Tenrikyo’s view of the family, which is based on the teaching of universal brotherhood, is what society needs most. He pointed out that the number of people who are suffering from non-health related problems is increasing–a situation that calls for the application of the teachings of Tenrikyo, in which husband and wife are taught to be the basis. Yet, what is even more important is to provide people with a standard for how to handle the mind each day before they develop a serious problem.
Referring to the activities for the “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, he said: “There are people who say that they do not feel that the anniversary-related activities have got into full swing yet. I, for one, do not agree. I feel that there is a tangible sense of growing momentum.” He explained that there are increasing reports of people receiving miraculous blessings. He added: “Though it is said that now is a season for salvation, a season for being saved, this does not mean that we can receive miraculous blessings while sitting around doing nothing. We can receive blessings only when we seriously take the truth of the season to heart and make strenuous efforts.”
He concluded his sermon by calling upon the listeners to join him in making a resolution–at the beginning of the second half of the “three years, one thousand days” season–to implement salvation work and make spiritual growth with greater enthusiasm so that we may bring joy to our Parent.