Spring Grand Service

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The Spring Grand Service (Shuki taisai/daisai 春季大祭), held at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters in Jiba on January 26 each year, commemorates the lunar calendar date of 1/26/1887 when Oyasama withdrew from physical life. The Spring Grand Service starts at 11:30 a.m. so that it ends at approximately 2:00 p.m., the hour when Oyasama is said to have withdrawn from physical life.

The Spring Grand Service sermon at Church Headquarters is usually delivered by the Shinbashira and usually touches on the circumstances leading up to Oyasama withdrawing from physical life. A common theme in these sermons is the aspiration for spiritual growth and the struggle to maintain single-heartedness with God while conforming to social norms and commitments.

Regional churches conduct their spring grand services (called January grand services in the southern hemisphere) on designated dates in January. While the service holds the same significance at regional churches as they do at Church Headquarters, an important difference is that whereas a performance of the Kagura Service is included in the Grand Service at Church Headquarters, for grand services held at regional churches or missions, the seated service is performed instead.

Anniversaries of Oyasama

Every ten years, an anniversary of Oyasama is observed. The next anniversary is the 130th Anniversary, to be held on January 26, 2016.

Although the event is referred to an “anniversary,” it should not be misunderstood that this is a celebratory occasion. Yoshikazu Fukaya writes:

“There used to be some misunderstanding among the general public about this, and at times banners were displayed reading, "Happy ___th Anniversary of Oyasama." Essentially, an anniversary of Oyasama cannot be considered a cause for celebration. The anniversaries of Oyasama started from an event that must have been an occasion of utter hopelessness for the people at the time since it meant they could no longer see their beloved Oyasama or hear Her voice. Yet, we cannot but rouse ourselves to action when we consider that Oyasama had shown us such an occasion out of Her parental love to guide and nurture us, Her children, who lacked sufficient spiritual growth.”[1]

It may be noted that this is an appropriate attitude for followers to have regarding the Spring Grand Service in general.

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  1. Fukaya, Yoshikazu. Words of the Path , p. 33.