The Autumn Grand Service for the 185th year of the Teaching was performed in the Main Sanctuary on October 26 with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira. The Grand Service commemorates the Teaching’s day of origin in 1838, when God the Parent became openly revealed in the world by settling Oyasama as the Shrine of Tsukihi.
On the day of the Service, the Home of the Parent was blessed with clear autumn skies. Large numbers of followers returned to Jiba both from within the country and overseas out of a yearning for the everliving Oyasama. Shortly before 8:00 a.m.—the hour at which Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of Tsukihi—Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama left the Staff Quarters with other Service performers for the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay their respects before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary. The Shinbashira paid his respects to God the Parent at the South Worship Hall together with the performers and worshipers.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for becoming openly revealed in this world through Oyasama as the Shrine upon the arrival of the Promised Time, for beginning the ultimate teaching for world salvation, and for guiding us along the path that leads to the Joyous Life by giving us unchanging parental love and the blessings of the free and unlimited workings with warm, tender care. He then said, “As we take this opportunity today to return our thoughts to the Teaching’s day of origin, we Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku are determined to follow Oyasama’s Divine Model and further dedicate ourselves to the tasks of single-hearted salvation.” Continuing, Rev. Nakayama said: “With the ‘three years, one thousand days’ season leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama being almost upon us, Instruction Four will be announced today in order to help us all unite our minds and carry out the pre-anniversary activities. Subsequently, between next month and February of next year, Church Headquarters officials will visit directly supervised churches to ensure that, first, those in leadership positions become fully aware of the significance of the anniversary.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, the Shinbashira proceeded to the upper dais and announced Instruction Four to show us guidelines for conducting our activities during the period leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama.
After reading Instruction Four to the congregation, the Shinbashira said: “The significance of observing an anniversary of Oyasama has always remained unchanged. The frame of mind of those of us who observe an anniversary of Oyasama has also remained the same in that we have always sought to return our thoughts to the intention of the Parent—who even withdrew from physical life by shortening Her term of life in order to hasten the spiritual growth of all humankind, Her children—and to respond to Her intention by showing Her the fruits of our decisive efforts to follow the path of spiritual growth with our sights set on the anniversary. Such is the fundamental spirit of observing an anniversary of Oyasama, the spirit that should never change.”
The Shinbashira then pointed out that people who observe an anniversary of Oyasama may change as time goes by, which inevitably means that there will be people who are unaware of the significance of an anniversary or the frame of mind with which they should observe it. He expressed his hope that Instruction Four will serve to unite the minds of all followers by allowing those who are unaware of the significance of an anniversary to become aware of it and thereby to cultivate a frame of mind that leads to proactively walking the path so as to bring themselves into accord with the Parent’s intention.