On January 26, Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the Spring Grand Service of the l64th year of the Teaching in its Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding. The Spring Grand Service commenced at 11:30 a.m. so that the Service would end right before two o’clock in the afternoon, the time when Oyasama withdrew from physical life.
It was on January 26, 1887, that Oyasama opened the portals and withdrew from physical life, thus shortening Her term of physical life by 25 years out of the parental desire to hasten world salvation. To help us implement that parental desire, Church Headquarters will be sponsoring the Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato between April and September this year.
Attended by tens of thousands of followers who filled all four Worship Halls, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, the Corridor, and the surrounding precincts, the Spring Grand Service commenced with the Shinbashira’s reading of the prayer to God the Parent. He began the prayer by thanking God the Parent for the unlimitedly abundant blessings that we have received so far. He then referred to the day of origin of the Spring Grand Service as “the unforgettable day when Oyasama opened the portals and stepped out to level the ground of the world in order to teach Her children the importance of the Service and urge them to settle the mind of sincerity out of Her deep parental concern for Her children’s spiritual growth,” and said, “Returning our thoughts to that day of origin, we Service performers will now conduct the Spring Grand Service by performing the Kagura and the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements.” He went on to say, “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, are resolved to take ever firmer steps to fulfill our pledge to implement actions to save others so that we might contribute greatly to the construction of the world desired by God the Parent.” He also expressed his desire with reference to the upcoming Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato by saying, “We would like all head ministers to strengthen their faith as those who are responsible for their churches, unite their minds together, go through this world of turmoil with unshakable faith, and thereby energetically advance along the path of single-hearted salvation.”
Then the Kagura Service and the Teodori were performed in a solemn atmosphere while the followers joined together in singing the songs for the Service spiritedly.
Several minutes before two o’clock, the performance of the Teodori came to an end. At two o’clock, the music siren began to sound, and all the followers attending the Service turned toward the Foundress’ Sanctuary and offered silent prayer to Oyasama.
After the prayer, the Shinbashira took the podium to deliver his sermon. In the sermon, he emphasized that churches have an enormous role to play in spreading the teachings throughout the world and expressed his desire to have churches enrich their substance so that they might fulfill that role.