On April 1, Church Headquarters performed a prayer service at the Main Sanctuary in light of the increasing coronavirus infection levels both in and outside Japan.
The service was performed in prayer for an early end to the COVID-19 pandemic and the healing and recovery of those afflicted by the virus, providing us followers with an opportunity to bring our minds together to seek these blessings. This was the first such service since March 2020. Since a limit was imposed on the number of followers who could enter the worship halls, benches were set up in the Inner Courtyard and in the area in front of the South Worship Hall.
On that day, followers including Church Headquarters officials and staff members, students of Shuyoka (the Spiritual Development Course), and others living in the Home of the Parent came to attend the service as social distancing instructions were being given over loudspeakers.
At 12 noon, Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama led the proceedings and started the service by playing the wooden clappers. Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoichiro Miyamori assisted him by using the counter.
Following the service performance, Rev. Nakayama proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay his respects whereas the worshipers remained where they attended the service and paid their respects.
Prior to the service, Rev. Miyamori spoke to the congregation and referred to the challenges faced since last year in handling the COVID-19 situation. Pointing out that settling the mind and pursuing the attitude of single-heartedness with God are important for those who have faith in the path, he reminded the listeners of the teaching that “the mind of saving others is the real truth of sincerity alone” and encouraged them to settle the mind of engaging in activities that would lead to helping save others—activities appropriate for followers of the path. Then he said: “Let us take a moment now to ponder how we can follow Oyasama’s Divine Model of single-hearted salvation demonstrated through Her example and settle our minds to put that into practice. I strongly believe that each of us has been entrusted by God the Parent with particular tasks in salvation work. Let us start with whatever we can do to carry out our tasks.”
Saying that all we need to do now is settle our minds to carry out salvation work, Rev. Miyamori closed his speech by encouraging the followers to decisively let go of their self-centered thoughts that might give rise to anxiety and distrust and to unite their minds to pray for the blessings of the settlement of the situation.
The prayer service for an early end to the COVID-19 pandemic will be performed at the Main Sanctuary at 12 noon on the first of every month as a rule until the end of 2021.