The September Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was joyously conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
Amid the solemn sounds of gagaku music, the Shinbashira and the other Service performers left the Staff Quarters to pay respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary. At the Main Sanctuary, the Shinbashira read the Service prayer, in which he mentioned the Seminar for Successors, which started on August 28, and expressed his resolution by saying, “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, are resolved to make ever greater efforts to seek the teachings and implement the Divine Model as well as nurture the following generation.” He then referred to Tenrikyo Nioigake Day, which was scheduled to be held during the three-day period from September 28 through 30. He continued: “This year, we designated the first day as the day for church head ministers to give roadside speeches and the last two days as the action days for Yoboku. Church head ministers will take a leading role, and all Yoboku will strive to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings so as to make repayment for the blessings they receive.”
Following the performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Nobuyuki Tanaka took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began by saying, “Now is the time to establish ourselves on firm ground and make steady progress.” Quoting the words of the Shinbashira, he said, “Churches’ activities in ordinary times are performing the service and sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings.” He then introduced his church’s activities–such as gatherings of the Women’s Association and the Young Men’s Association–to enhance the performance of the service and stressed the significance and preciousness of the truth of the Service. Rev. Tanaka went on to say: “The path to be saved as well as the foundation for saving others lies in attending the services–namely, the Kagura Service and our churches’ monthly services–and carrying out our respective roles. . . . By so doing, we can cultivate a joyous and spirited mind. Expressing that mind in our actions will enable us to do hinokishin, sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, and engage in salvation work. . . . In the course of sprinkling the fragrance and administering the Sazuke, we encounter new people. We can grow spiritually through our efforts in helping them grow spiritually and guiding them to become service performers. This is why the successive Shinbashiras have been saying that the keys to enriching the substance of churches are the Service and the Sazuke.” In closing his sermon, Rev. Tanaka mentioned Tenrikyo Nioigake Day and called upon church head ministers to serve as the leaders of all other Yoboku and strive to build up momentum for missionary work.
Autumn Memorial Service
The Autumn Memorial Service was conducted on the following day, the 27th. At 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashira proceeded to the Main Sanctuary and read the prayer, followed by the dance to the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo and the Twelve Songs. After the service performance, a ceremony took place in the Memorial Hall, where the Shinbashira read the prayer in honor of deceased followers’ endeavors and virtues.