Autumn Grand Service 2023: Raising Awareness of Being Oyasama’s Instruments Towards the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama

The Autumn Grand Service, which commemorates the Teaching’s day of origin, for the 186th year of the Teaching was performed in the Main Sanctuary on October 26 with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant.

On the day of the Service, shortly before 8:00 a.m.—the hour at which Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of Tsukihi in 1838—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 upper dais in the Main Sanctuary.

In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first thanked God the Parent for becoming openly revealed in this world by settling Oyasama as the Shrine upon the arrival of the Promised Time, for beginning the ultimate teaching for world salvation, and for guiding us with unchanging parental love along the path that leads to the Joyous Life where God and humankind dwell in perfect union. He then said: “As the ‘three years, one thousand days’ activities for the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama have been taking place, we Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will take this opportunity today to remind ourselves firmly once again of the significance of the founding of the Teaching and will raise our awareness of being Oyasama’s instruments. We are determined to further dedicate ourselves to spreading the fragrance of the teachings and conducting salvation work.”

Touching upon the “Action Day for All Yoboku,” which would be held a total of five times starting on October 29 over the period leading up to the Anniversary of Oyasama, Rev. Nakayama said, “In order to further advance the pre-anniversary activities, Yoboku who live in the same districts will gather together and encourage one another to make greater efforts in seeking and practicing the teachings.”

The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements.

The day of the Service marked one year since the announcement of Instruction Four. The Home of the Parent was blessed with clear autumn skies from the morning and drew large numbers of Yoboku and other followers. The Main Sanctuary’s four worship halls were filled with worshipers who sang the Mikagura-uta, the Songs for the Service, while reflecting on the path they had walked during the first year of the “three years, one thousand days” period and reaffirming their resolve to carry out ever more vibrant activities.

After the Service performance, the Shinbashira delivered his address. He earnestly explained the significance of the Teaching’s day of origin and of God the Parent’s intention in creating human beings. He then pointed out that Oyasama—despite facing a lack of understanding from those around Her—patiently walked on the path Herself in accord with the intention of God the Parent without ever giving up and demonstrated the Divine Model to help humans live the Joyous Life. Referring to the fact that Oyasama never stopped trying to nurture people no matter what happened over the course of fifty years, he stated that we should not forget that this is also part of the Divine Model.

Further, by quoting a passage from Instruction Four, he emphasized that Yoboku are Oyasama’s instruments. He invited all of us to join him in reaffirming that our mission as Yoboku is to honestly and straightforwardly engage in single-hearted salvation in exact accord with Oyasama’s intention by melting into Her mind in the same manner that the instruments summoned by God to participate in human creation melted into God’s mind.

To conclude, the Shinbashira asked the congregation to continue building awareness of this mission among as many Yoboku as possible while walking the path spiritedly in order for the pre-anniversary activities to gain ever more momentum.

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