On December 26, the final Monthly Service for the year of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary was solemnly conducted at Church Headquarters.
Throughout last year, which was designated as the “year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama,” each Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted “by receiving the truth of January 26.” The followers who returned to Jiba in order to attend the final Monthly Service of the anniversary year gave thought to the intention embodied in the day of origin of Oyasama’s anniversaries. Also, all church head ministers were assigned to attend one of the Monthly Services between February and December in a designated area next to the Inner Sanctuary. A total of 14,543 head ministers, dressed in the service kimono, observed the Kagura Service from the designated area during this period. In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira read: “As we agreed before, we committed ourselves to giving expression to the results of the efforts we had made in anticipation of the anniversary, and throughout this year, we were blessed with having a lively atmosphere at the Home of the Parent, filled with many cheerful people returning to Jiba. We are truly grateful for Your blessings.” He then referred to the church head ministers, all of whom attended one of this year’s Monthly Services in the designated area: “Seeing the Kagura Service performed before their very eyes surely brought them a great sense of joy and enthusiasm. May I ask for Your blessings to ensure that their joy and enthusiasm will find expression in the monthly services performed at local churches and that the truth of each church name will flourish for all time to come. . . . We will once again reflect upon the manner in which we have committed ourselves to following this path, take a deeper look at our goals, and with our minds refreshed walk the path spiritedly in order to respond to the Parent’s intention.” The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously. The congregation joined in single-heartedly singing the songs for the Service. Following the Service, Honbu-in Akio Shikao took the podium to deliver the sermon. He said: “In the teachings of this path, there are no prohibitive commandments, or ‘don’t dos.’ Instead, we are taught the things that we should do as people, or ‘must dos.’ God the Parent has taught us the path of spiritual growth and has been urging us to make progress. I would like to remind you to become fully aware of the mission entrusted to us, which is to say, our ‘must dos.'” He then referred to the Divine Model of Oya-sama, saying: “Oyasama showed us the path of the Divine Model out of the profound intention to have all Her children live the Joyous Life. It is the path that all of us children must walk.” He concluded his sermon by saying, “As we set out toward our next goal, let us reaffirm our ‘must dos,’ prepare ourselves to take action, and welcome the upcoming new year, the beginning of the next stage on our journey.”