On January 1, the New Year’s Day Service for the 184th year of the Teaching (2021) was duly performed from 5:00 a.m. in the Main Sanctuary with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama as chief officiant. Many followers who had gathered at the Home of the Parent before daybreak attended the first Service of the year with a fresh resolve to make further efforts to promote the path of single-hearted salvation.
At the appointed time, Rev. Nakayama and other Service performers left the Staff Quarters and paid their respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed his gratitude for the new year. He then said: “The past year began with the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus and then ended with no sign of when the pandemic will come to an end. In these circumstances, we exerted our utmost sincerity in advancing the activities of the path to the best of our abilities while pondering over Your intention. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to You for guiding us in the embrace of Your warm parental heart.”
Continuing, he said: “All of us followers are determined to exert our utmost sincerity in promoting the path of single-hearted salvation by revisiting the mission of Yoboku and thereby increasing our efforts to make further spiritual growth this year. I ask that You will provide us with Your guidance whenever we fall short so as to help us continue walking on the path of single-hearted salvation in high spirits this year, the path that is to continue for all generations to come.”
After the prayer, the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were performed joyously, with the followers joining in singing the songs for the Service in unity of mind.
Following the performance of the Dance with Hand Movements, Rev. Nakayama proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to read his prayer before Oyasama. He offered his New Year’s greetings, saying: “Happy New Year, Oyasama. Having welcomed in the new year, we are resolved to raise our awareness as the instruments of Oyasama with a greater sense of joy. We will exert our utmost sincerity in performing our duties in high spirits by using the teachings as the guiding principle for our thoughts and actions.”