On January 1, the New Year’s Day Service for the 186th year of the Teaching (2023) 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 fresh resolve to continue making steady efforts to move forward on the path of the Joyous Life.]
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: “During the past year, we were able to gradually resume our activities despite various COVID-19 restrictions. Moreover, the intention to observe the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama was declared at the beginning of the year followed by the announcement in autumn of Instruction Four so as to help us prepare ourselves for pre-anniversary activities. I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all the guidance we received from You.”
Continuing, he said: “Having welcomed in the new year, which is the first year of the ‘three years, one thousand days’ activity period leading up to the anniversary, all of us followers are determined to engage in the work of single-hearted salvation spiritedly in unity of mind by using Oyasama’s Divine Model as our guiding principle. I ask that You provide us with Your guidance whenever we fall short so as to allow the world to be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life even a day sooner.”
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 entered the first year of the ‘three years, one thousand days’ activity period leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama, we are resolved to raise our awareness as Your instruments and thereby make decisive progress in our spiritual growth with our sights set on the Divine Model.”