On January 26, the Spring Grand Service commemorating the day when Oyasama withdrew from physical life—namely, the lunar calendar date of January
26, 1887—was performed in the Main Sanctuary of Church Headquarters with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama presiding as chief officiant. Approximately 65,000 Yoboku and followers from both within and outside Japan returned to Jiba to attend the Service.
Shortly before the start of the Service, Successor-Designate Nakayama served a meal to Oyasama at the Foundress’ Sanctuary. When the appointed time came, Rev. Nakayama and other Service performers paid their respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall and proceeded to the Main Sanctuary. The Shinbashira, also, paid his respects to God
the Parent at the South Worship Hall together with the performers and worshipers. Rev. Nakayama then ascended the upper dais, where he delivered the Service prayer.
Rev. Nakayama first expressed his appreciation to God the Parent for creating the world and human beings out of the desire to see our Joyous Life and share in our joy, and for providing loving care and guidance along the path that leads to the Joyous Life by means of unchanging parental love. He then said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will dedicate our utmost sincerity to the path of singlehearted
salvation by performing the Service, which Oyasama urged even by confronting the early followers with Her own critical physical condition, as well as making the most of the truth of the Sazuke, which Oyasama widely bestows on us. We are thus determined to respond to the parental heart that desires our spiritual growth.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with
Hand Movements. The followers, having filled the worship halls, the Corridors, and other areas in the Sanctuary precincts, joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, the songs for the Service. Following the Service, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs
Zensuke Nakata delivered the sermon.
In the sermon, Rev. Nakata explained that Oyasama kindly taught and guided people beginning with simple things in an orderly manner. He said: “Oyasama gave the teachings for 50 years in an orderly manner, and people came to understand the fundamental teachings and the true intention of the Parent little by little. She showed them that this path is the secure, broad path toward the Joyous Life World, the path they could follow without worries. She guided and nurtured them with much tenderness and care.”
In regard to the order of faith in this path, he quoted a Divine Direction and explained, “What is crucial here is that, when we are faced with a situation where things do not go as we expect or where we do not know what to do, we should ask ourselves if we are pondering over the situation in accordance with the Divine Model of Oyasama and reflect on whether or
not we have followed the correct order.”
Furthermore, Rev. Nakata pointed out that the order of things refers not only to how things are ordered but also to how things are piled up—which may indicate the importance of making effort upon effort over years. He stated that, when we follow the path, we may be faced with difficult situations along the way, but when we go through them, we can find a narrow path. He went on to say, “If we continue to walk the narrow path securely step by step, we can find a broad path. Or, we will be able to regard the narrow path as a broad path, which is a sign of our spiritual growth.”
Nearly 100 people from 13 overseas countries and regions returned to Jiba for the Spring Grand Service. The prayer and sermon were interpreted simultaneously into six languages: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Portuguese, Nepali, and French.