The New Year’s Day Service of Church Headquarters, celebrating the 165th year of Tenrikyo, was conducted in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding. Shortly before five o’clock, elegant gagaku music resonated throughout the Home of the Parent, where large numbers of followers had gathered for the Service not only from the vicinity of Church Headquarters but also from nearby prefectures, such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo, as well as from distant districts.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira thanked God the Parent by stating, “We sincerely appreciate Your parental blessings in guiding us toward spiritual maturity over the course of the previous year, during which we dedicated our most sincere efforts to making progress in single-hearted salvation.” He went on to make a renewed resolution: “All of us Yoboku are determined to strongly push further in our implementation with a fresh mind and bring ourselves into accord with the intention of God the Parent by spreading the teachings and saving others ever more eagerly.”
The weather was relatively mild on the day of the New Year’s Day Service. Although the temperature dipped slightly as dawn approached, the followers joined in singing the joyous Songs of the Kagura and the Teodori.
Following the performance of the Service, the Shinbashira proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary, accompanied by the other Service performers, to offer Oyasama his New Year’s greetings.
The Shinbashira stated, “As we enter this new year, all of us are resolved to freshen our spirits so that we may make progress in single-hearted salvation, feel close to the Divine Model of Oyasama, dedicate ourselves in serving as Oyasama’s instruments, and engage in the construction of the joyous world through spreading the truth about this world.” He continued, “Please instruct us repeatedly in areas where we fall short, and guide us so that our minds remain spirited while engaging in salvation work without being disheartened by any hardships,” thus marking the opening of the year to step up our implementation in high spirits.