The Autumn Grand Service, commemorating the day of origin of the Teaching, was performed on October 26 in the Main Sanctuary of Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding. Great numbers of followers filled the Main Sanctuary’s four worship halls, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, the Inner Courtyard, and the areas in front of the East, South, and West Worship Halls. For the benefit of overseas followers, who came from 17 countries and regions around the world, as well as for students at Tenrikyo Language Institute, a section of benches inside the Inner Courtyard was set aside for simultaneous interpretation, which was provided in English, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese.
The Service commenced at 8:00 a.m., the very hour that Oyasama became the Shrine of Tsukihi on October 26, 1838. The Shinbashira and the other Service performers first offered their prayers at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall and then proceeded to the Main Sanctuary, where the Shinbashira read the Service prayer on behalf of all followers. He began the prayer by expressing gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings, which have enabled this ultimate teaching to spread ever more widely and, consequently, have led an increasing number of God’s children to follow their true Parent. He went on to say: “Having considered the present situation of the world carefully, we are resolved to dig up the root of origin of this world and put our heart and soul into following the Divine Model and performing the Service so that all people throughout the world may receive the free and unlimited blessings of God the Parent. We are prepared to exert our sincerity to the utmost in the cause of single-hearted salvation. Please continue to guide us through Your boundless parental love so that all people in the world may live together in harmony as brothers and sisters and lead a life filled with joy.”
After the performance of the Kagura and the Teodori, the Shinbashira delivered his sermon, in which he explained the significance of the Autumn Grand Service as well as the attitude of single-heartedness that ought to be implemented in the daily life of each and every Yoboku.
On the day before the Autumn Grand Service, the 25th, the Overseas Department sponsored a seminar for overseas followers. This Overseas Department Seminar consisted of a keynote lecture delivered by Rev. Shinichi Uemura, chief of the Mission Department’s Hinokishin Section, and a video presentation, both of which focused on the topic of hinokishin. The seminar was attended by 145 church head ministers, fellowship heads, and Yoboku, who had returned to Jiba from 16 countries and regions around the world.