The August 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.
As a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Church Headquarters has been urging Yoboku and other followers to refrain from attending the Monthly Service. Meanwhile, Church Headquarters has begun to arrange for all church head ministers to attend the Monthly Service or the Grand Service at the Main Sanctuary at least once by the end of this year. The August Monthly Service was attended by the heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses along with a limited number of head ministers from other designated churches.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama expressed gratitude to God the Parent for disclosing the truth of human creation, teaching the Service for universal salvation, and guiding us toward the Joyous Life with deep parental love. Continuing, he said: “Assembled before You are the Service performers and other designated followers who are attending the Service on behalf of all other followers. I hope that You, God the Parent, become spirited by looking upon the way they express their gratitude for Your daily blessings and pray for further spiritual growth while attending the Service in high spirits. All of us followers will ponder over the parental heart that seeks to hasten salvation while reflecting upon the severe situations that people in many parts of the world are facing. We are determined to follow the path in any challenging situation by binding ourselves together in unity of mind while exerting our utmost each day.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Tomoyuki Itakura took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Itakura first touched upon the fact that many events intended for nurturing the younger generation of the path had been canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He then pointed out the need for parents to try to convey the faith to their children in their family. He noted how everything that happens in our lives comes from the parental love of God the Parent, who desires to save all of us human beings, as well as how turning everything into joy and thereby dedicating ourselves to the path will be a key to change the course of our lives moving forward. As we aim to come closer to the realization of the Joyous Life, he said, it is important to speak about the day of origin and the causality of our family with our children and grandchildren. By sharing his experience of how he came to realize his own causality by reflecting upon the faith of his family from its day of origin to this day, Rev. Itakura spoke about the preciousness of following the faith generation after generation.
Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Itakura emphasized that nurturing the successors of the path requires urging them to realize their causality. He concluded his sermon by saying: “Let us first ponder over our causality as we move forward on the path with the mind of joy. Let us then try to reflect our attitude to our children and other young people.”