The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary, with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira.
Church Headquarters has taken various measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. With the state of emergency having been lifted toward the end of May and the restrictions on crossing prefectural borders subsequently eased throughout Japan, Church Headquarters decided that heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses as well as head ministers of churches in Nara Prefecture be allowed to attend the June Monthly Service.
In his Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama expressed gratitude to God the Parent for guiding us toward the Joyous Life with parental love. Continuing, he said: “Assembled before You are Service performers and other designated followers who are attending the Service on behalf of all other followers. We will perform the Service with our minds in unison to express gratitude for all the many blessings we have been receiving in our daily lives as well as to pray for a settling to the current crisis even a day sooner so as to be able to perform the Service together with many Yoboku and other followers. I humbly ask You to accept our sincerity as we pray for Your blessings. All of us followers, who are eager to respond to Your blessings, will continue to follow straightforwardly the path that Oyasama taught us by basing ourselves on the divine truth as we strive to fulfill our duty as Yoboku.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshiyo Ueda took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Ueda began by speaking about what we should make of troubles relating to pandemics by quoting from the Ofudesaki. He stressed how the world will be settled by performing the Service with the mind of true sincerity as well as how we are urged to become single-hearted with God and implement the single-hearted performance of the Service. When we pray for the salvation of other people by forgetting greed and sweeping away evils, he said, God the Parent will accept our sincerity in seeking to emulate Oyasama’s parental heart and thereby provide us with free and unlimited workings in the body.
Rev. Ueda also spoke about how the Service highlights the sweeping of hearts, the mind of saving others, and the Truth of Origin, all of which are fundamental elements of salvation in Tenrikyo. He concluded his sermon by encouraging followers to perform the service by bringing their minds in complete accord with the songs for the Service.