The New Year’s Day Service ushering in the 162nd year of Tenrikyo was performed in the Main Sanctuary of Church Headquarters from 5:00 a.m. on January 1. It was still dark outside when the throngs of followers, including many families, assembled for the Service.
The Service commenced with the Shinbashira’s prayer to God the Parent. After expressing our gratitude for the many blessings we received during the previous year, the Shinbashira said: “Renewing the pledge we made last autumn when we vowed to make a new start, we Yoboku are prepared to deepen our commitment to playing an increasingly active role in world salvation.”
Before concluding the service prayer, the Shinbashira said: “We ask for Your guidance to help us amend our shortcomings so that we may serve more effectively as Your instruments. We Yoboku are all determined to join our efforts in a unity of mind and to work to our utmost so that we shall have no cause for regret at the end of the year. In addition, we ask for Your blessings that will enable each church to serve its community as a training center for single-hearted salvation.”
The year’s first Service—including both the Kagura and the Dance with Hand Movements—was then performed spiritedly. The joyous sounds of the Service echoed throughout the precincts as darkness gave way to dawn.
Following the performance of the Service, the Shinbashira, accompanied by the other Service performers, proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary, where he greeted the everliving Oyasama, saying: “Oyasama, we wish You a happy new year. Today, at the beginning of this new year, we are also renewing our commitment to serving as Your instruments in the task of single-hearted salvation.”