Services play a vital role for religions that focus on an individual's relationship with the Divine. In Konkokyo, services are held to rejoice and worship Kami within one's heart.
Services provide a place and time for believers to gather and pray together. This facilitates vital discussions, time for sharing, and aids in the development of faith within the believers.
The highlight of Service is the sermon. Most ministers tell personal, spiritual-growth experiences or various revelations as their sermons. Being able to hear, step by step, how ministers were able to overcome adversity and grow spiritually, these sermons give believers guidance in their own faith.
As a support system and stepping stone, services pull together the hearts of the believers. With prayers and actions in unison, believers will be able to realize Kami's Wish of relieving all people from suffering.
Konkokyo has many kinds of rituals. Some of them are held regularly and some are held upon believers' requests. Typical services and ceremonies as follows;
Tenchi Kane No Kami Grand Service
Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Service
Spring and Autumn Memorial Services
Monthly Memorial Service
New Year's Service
End of Year Service
There are two annual Grand Services. One is in spring, and the other is in autumn. The Tenchi Kane No Kami Spring Grand Service is celebrated to show our appreciation to Kami for the blessings we receive. In the spring, when we can see life bursting forth from the dormant winter, is an ideal time to express our gratitude for the blessings that sustain our lives, and to acknowledge the beauty of nature.
The Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Service, which is held around the passing date of our Founder, celebrates and acknowledges the following:
1) Our Founder's return to Kami, which enables him to guide us. Our Founder said, "Having a physical body makes it difficult for me to see people's suffering in the world. When my body is gone, I can go to where I am requested and save people" (GII: Karahi Tsunezo, 4:2). ?His dedication to helping others extends beyond his physical life, and for this, we wish to express our deepest gratitude.
2) The continuous work of the Mediation of the Living Kami.
3) The living kami that each of us has inside of ourselves.
Both of the Grand Services are very festive and colorful. The rituals in the ceremony are mainly derived from Shinto rituals and ceremonial dress. Many churches still have the sacred music and the dance performed as an expression of our gratitude to Kami. Each movement of the officiating ministers and each item placed on the Altar are symbolic in meaning. These symbolic rituals become guides for our hearts to follow in our daily lives.
Konkokyo Headquarters and respective churches hold Monthly Services for Tenchi Kane No Kami and Ikigami Konko Daijin as well.
Konkokyo holds Memorial Services to pray for the happiness of all those who have passed away. The names of believers' ancestors are read by the officiating minister, in order to be recognized. Those people who died in wars, those who suffered through their deaths, and those who no longer have people praying for them are also embraced in the prayers. We believe Memorial Service days are much like birthdays for spirits. This is because it celebrates their return to Kami.
The Memorial Services are held to remind us of the people who worked hard to sustain and nurture our lives, the people we could not have existed without. It is a time to show our appreciation for their efforts and support, by praying for their spiritual well-being.
Konkokyo Headquarters holds Spring and Autumn Memorial Services. Many of churches hold Monthly Memorial Services as well. We believe that it is important to take good care of the roots that support us.