The November Monthly Service was conducted at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters on the 26th of November with the Shinbashira presiding. Since the Monthly Service fell on a Sunday, the congregation was composed of an unusually large number of families and pilgrimage groups, who not only filled the four worship halls, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, and the corridors but also took advantage of the warm weather by seating themselves on benches that had been set up in the Inner Courtyard and other outdoor areas in the precincts.
The Shinbashira and the other Service performers entered the Main Sanctuary to the accompaniment of gagaku music. The Shinbashira then ascended the dais to read his prayer, in which he said: “In our rush to achieve superficial prosperity, we human beings have narrowed our field of vision and have thus lost sight of the great blessings through which You, O God the Parent, give us life. Reflecting deeply on how this has marred the harmony of the whole and created suffering in the world, we are prepared to settle firmly in our minds ‘the truth of origin,’ which is indeed the origin of any and everything. We are also determined to correct ourselves to accord with the teachings and take powerful strides along the path of the Divine Model.”
The Kagura and Dance with Hand Movements were then performed, while the congregation joined in singing the songs that accompany the Service.
Following the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshio Nakano delivered the sermon. Emphasizing the importance of accumulating more merit with each succeeding generation, he told the congregation: “We pass our faith down from generation to generation, transmitting it from parent to child, and from child to grandchild. This enables us to live a life of faith while taking delight in the future. . . . We can attain wondrous virtue to pass down to succeeding generations so long as we ourselves make an honest effort to follow Oyasama’s Divine Model, which is to say, so long as we ourselves keep to the path of single-hearted salvation.” Rev. Nakano brought his sermon to a close by quoting a request made by the Shinbashira at the Autumn Grand Service: “I want all of us to reflect on our own progress and set about making renewed efforts to draw closer to the intention of the Parent, accelerating our pace as we go.”