New Year’s Day Service Opens the 170th Year of Tenrikyo

On January 1, the New Year’s Day Service marking the beginning of the 170th year of Tenrikyo was solemnly performed at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. From early dawn, followers returned to Jiba one after another to attend the first Service of the year and to welcome the New Year with a renewed resolution to work for single-hearted salvation. At 5:00 A.M., the Shinbashira, accompanied by the other Service performers, left the Staff Quarters to pay his respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall, before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary. He then delivered the Service prayer, which he began by offering his New Year’s greetings and looking back upon the past year, the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. The Shinbashira said: “We are truly grateful for having been able to stay focused on following the path of spiritual growth, without allowing ourselves to be pulled down by the disheartening events that occurred in the world one after another.” He continued: “As all of us Yoboku constantly try to bring ourselves closer to Oyasama’s parental heart of single-hearted salvation, we will devote our full measure of sincerity throughout the New Year to reaching out to those suffering form illnesses and troubles by conveying the voice of the true Parent and by guiding them along the way toward the Joyous Life.” The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyfully performed. The Shinbashira proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to offer the everliving Oyasama his New Year’s greetings, in which he pledged, “With renewed minds, we vow to implement in our daily lives the teachings You spent fifty years conveying and to constantly reflect upon how to accord with Your intention in the light of Your Divine Model while working hard as Your instruments for the path by exerting our utmost sincerity.”

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