The Service is the most important ritual in Tenrikyo, and is the means through which universal salvation can be achieved. The “Main” Service is only also known by other names such as the Kagura Service (Service with sacred masks); the Kanrodai Service (Service with Heaven’s Stand at the center); the Joyous Service; and the Salvation Service. The Main Service can only be performed at Jiba, the original spot of human creation, located in Tenri City in Japan. It is performed on the 26th day of each month.
At each of the 17,000 Tenrikyo churches spanning the globe, God the Parent is represented, and the truth of Jiba emanates through its shrines. In other words, they are direct connections to Jiba and, therefore, the monthly “practice” services performed at churches throughout the world contribute as local pillars of world salvation.
In addition to the monthly services, the morning and evening services are performed at Church Headquarters (Jiba), local churches, mission stations, at other locations such as followers’ houses.
Earlier this year, I tried searching online for instructional videos on the hand movements for the daily service, but could not find any. Therefore, I decided to create my own video using my lovely (and then pregnant!) wife as a model. The daily service consists of 3 parts and this video goes over part 1. The words and translation/(interpretation) are as follows:
Ashiki o harōte tasuke tamae Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto [repeated 21 times]
Evil** sweeping, save us (everyone in the world) please, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto
Later, a friend shot this video, which discusses the more technical aspects of the hand movements. Give it a try!
** In Tenrikyo, there are no teachings or beliefs regarding evil spirits, demons, devils, curses, or the like. Our teachings are only of hope and spiritedness, and there is nothing to fear, including God. The “evils” which God refers to in the service are simply the incorrect uses of our minds – our self-centered imaginations – which are the root cause of all conflicts and sufferings in the world. Future posts will discuss in detail these evils, which are commonly known in Tenrikyo as dusts of the mind, or “mental dusts.”