The ceremony to replace the model Kanrodai was solemnly conducted on the evening of July 24. Members of Church Headquarters’ resident staff, head ministers of directly supervised churches, as well as Yoboku and followers who returned to Jiba for the ceremony, filled the four worship halls. The replacement ceremony was followed by the Service, in which the Kagura and the Teodori were performed around the new Kanrodai, to express gratitude to God for the successful completion of the replacement of the Kanrodai. Those who assembled joined in singing the Mikagura-uta, the Songs for the Service, in high spirits; they prayed together and resolved anew to devote themselves to the path.
On this day, the evening service at Church Headquarters was conducted from six o’clock, one and a half hours earlier than the regular time. A large number of followers had already assembled in the worship halls. After the evening service, the members of Church Headquarters’ resident staff and head ministers of directly supervised churches began preparations for the ceremony. Screens were set up on all four sides of the square dais of the Main Sanctuary except for the center of each side, which remained opened. Followers filling the worship halls waited for the arrival of the Shinbashira and the other Service performers who were to take part in the ceremony.
The Shinbashira and the others left their station at 7:10 p.m. They first proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay respects to Oyasama and the memories, respectively, and then arrived at the Main Sanctuary. The Shinbashira ascended the dais to make a prayer to God the Parent on behalf of the assembled followers. Then, after the offerings to God were removed, the Shinbashira and those in charge went down into the Inner Sanctuary to begin the replacement ceremony.
Screens were now placed all along the four sides of the dais and the bamboo blinds were pulled down, so that the Inner Sanctuary was completely closed off. At the same time the lights of the worship halls were turned off, leaving the worship halls in darkness. Amid the elegant sounds of the gagaku music, the worshipers could discern the sounds of footsteps on the pebble ground of the Inner Sanctuary and the occasional echo of a wooden hammer. The followers in the worship halls sat in complete silence, waiting for the replacement to be accomplished.
About one hour later, the lights in the worship halls were turned back on, whereupon the screens were removed and the bamboo blinds were pulled up to reveal the new model Kanrodai. A stir swept through the worship halls.
Then the offerings were made, and the Shinbashira offered a prayer. The Kagura, the Dance with Masks, began at 9:30 p.m., which was followed by the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements. Members of Church Headquarters’ resident staff, head ministers of directly supervised churches, Yoboku, and followers spiritedly joined in singing the Mikagura-uta, the Songs for the Service; their joyful and mighty singing infused the worship halls with excitement.
The Service came to an end after 11 o’clock. Then, the Shinbashira and the other Service performers, as well as members of Church Headquarters’ resident staff and head ministers of directly supervised churches, gathered at the Assembly Hall, where Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoshikazu Matsumura expressed his gratitude to the Shinbashira on behalf of all who were present. He also stated, “Beholding the new Kanrodai has instilled all of us with new resolve to advance in accord with the intention of the Parent.”
After the incident that occurred during the June Monthly Service, individual followers have pondered over the incident, while holding discussions at churches, departments and sections at Church Headquarters and Administrative Headquarters, or their home. Now that the new Kanrodai has been installed, all followers are expected to take advantage of their reflections so that they may live in accord with the teachings by adjusting themselves to the teachings, as well as strive in their efforts to “add flesh to the core.”