Konko Missions in Hawaii
Services and Ceremonies
Meanings of prayers and services
Prayer is like food for the soul. Just like with real food, if we do not eat, we will eventually starve. Likewise, our hearts need nourishment. If we constantly feed our hearts with faith, we would be able to overcome any hurdle in life. Let’s practice faith, and keep our hearts focused to Tenchi Kane no Kami (Parent God) every moment of our lives.
Praying to the Founder Konko Daijin and Tenchi Kane no Kami in the form of services is our way of expressing our gratitude for all of the blessings we are receiving constantly. Every breath of air is a divine blessing, so too is the ground we stand on. We are walking right through the body of Tenchi Kane no Kami every moment of our lives. Even the limitless sky above and the ground that supports us below is the body of Kami.
Kami-Sama also exists to listen to our prayers. We are all precious children of Kami-Sama; there is no one that does not belong in this world. Kami-Sama’s wish is for everyone to be happy. On the contrary, it is very painful for Kami-Sama to see His/Her precious children ruining their own lives, and the lives of others. So we must pray…For all people. Let’s pray for others, and in return, Kami-Sama will take care of us.
Main Saishi prayers
On behalf of the entire congregation, the chief officiating minister conveys prayers to Kami through an oral message forwarded to Kami and the Mitama spirits. It is important for the congregation to be in line with the sincere prayers of the minister, and bow our heads in respect during the reading of the main Saishi prayer.
A memorial service is held in remembrance and appreciation of our ancestors and loved ones. In accordance with the Konkokyo religious tradition, we perceive that when we die, our physical form returns to the earth, while our Mitama spirit departs to reunite with Tenchi Kane no Kami.
Since Tenchi Kane no Kami manifests itself in nature and the entire universe, both, we who are alive and the deceased exist mutually between the infinite realms of Heaven and Earth. In short, upon our deaths, our bodies cease to exist, but our spirit continues to live on. The Mitama spirits of the deceased people continue to work and help in the same manner as if they were alive. Since they have unlimited mobility, they are able to help whenever, and wherever. We extend our thanks for the eternal spiritual work of the Mitama spirit, through the service observed. Our Founder stated, “Immortality is important for humans. Immortality is when others keep praying for you after you die.” (Gorikai II Kondo Tsuru 1)
We feel happy when people come for a visit. The same is true for the Mitama spirits. To observe memorial services is to extend our thoughts and acknowledgements for the Mitama spirits. After the observance of a memorial service, we may dine together. It is important to take care of each other and extend kindness while we are alive—to both living and spirits. The Mitama spirits will take care of us in reflection of our thoughtfulness and care that is rendered upon others.
One other meaningful aspect of observing memorial services is that it brings forth opportunities to reflect upon ourselves. No matter how consciously we may try to keep positive thoughts, we may encounter an occasional surge of negativity due to human nature. In doing so, we may develop an unconscious thought of negativity towards others, and weighing in on a more negatively inclined life situation. It would be meaningful if we could take the observance of ceremonial services as opportunities to reflect upon ourselves and reform our hearts. Let us extend our appreciation for all that we are being blessed with, and practice developing a heart that yearns to reform our hearts back to the primary stage—the Kami centered heart.
Annual Grand Ceremonies are held twice a year during the Spring (honoring Tenchi Kane no Kami-Sama) and in Autumn (honoring the Founder, Ikigami Konko Daijin-Sama).
Annual Memorial Services are held twice a year during the Spring and Autumn as well. These services are held in honor of our deceased loved ones.
Monthly Services are held three times a month. On the 1st of every month at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. if the 1st is a Sunday. The first service is held honoring Tenchi Kane no Kami. The second service is held in honor of our Founder Ikigami Konko Daijin. The third service is held in honor of the Mitama spirits.
Daily prayer sessions are held at the church during the following hours:
6:00 a.m. Early morning prayer
9:00 a.m. Morning prayer
8:00 p.m. Evening prayer
**Church is open daily so people can come to give request and pray.
On Sundays which no monthly service is held, a Sunday Service is held in place, and usually a Sunday school session follows.
Other types of services include family oriented memorial services for ancestors, house blessing, car blessing, groundbreaking, wedding ceremony, funeral service, back to school service, and so on.
**If you would like to make a reservation for a particular ceremony, please contact the reverend in person. If you would like to be in the Konko Mission of Wahiawa mailing list, please contact us at 621-6667. If you are interested in becoming a member of this church, you are free to come any day. And by all means WELCOME J
Regular Church Attendance
In the Konko faith community, we say “Divine blessings can be gained through the use of our feet,” or “Okage wa ashini ari.” Actually, this expression is based on the one basic religious principle that goes, “Okagewa waga kokoro ni ari” or “Divine favor depends upon your own heart.” We simply modified the passage by replacing “waga kokoro” with “waga ashi.” There is also a similar expression of “Ashi Shinjin” or practice of faith using the feet. These expressions simply show that the best and surest way for us to receive “okage” blessings is to attend church regularly on our own part, by foot.
But virtually we can find no such teachings in the Konko faith teachings that refer to the encouragement of attending church on foot. However, experienced believers unanimously support and recommend that attending church is the foremost element in the practice of the Konko faith. The Rev. Yasutaro Yukawa of the Konko Church of Tamamizu in Osaka, held a strong suspicion for the obligatory nature of attending church regularly when he got involved in the Konko religion. He harbored a suspicion that it could be a religiously motivated strategy that may solicit monetary offerings from the church members who are encouraged to come to church regularly. So he tested to see if the theory of attending church regularly could really bring benefits for his personal life. This was when he was engaged in his business as a lay believer. He applied his business sense in figuring out what difference there could result for the business gains during the month of attendance to church and no attendance, while he kept engaged in his practice of faith at home. For the first two months, he experienced business gains during the months he attended church regularly. He tested several more months to ensure the results to eliminate the factor of chance for his business gains. Still he held some skeptical thoughts about the positive results. He tested to see if the theory hold true even if the period of test was shortened to 10-days. He tested many times yet got only positive results when he attended church daily rather than the period he stopped attending church. He was convinced the theory holds true.
In the Konko faith tradition, the Founder Konko Daijin related, “Practicing faith means to direct your heart towards Kami” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 21-1). When we intend to go to church, we sure can identify the presence of positively inclined thoughts of “I will go to church today.” That developed thought reflects the state of “directing one’s heart towards Kami.”
Our hearts can readily be distracted to a situation of convenience despite how hard we may try to direct our hearts to Kami.
Kami will surely accept your humble thoughts of wanting to go to the church.
Installation of the Residential Kami Shrine
If you wish to install a Kami Shrine at your house, you may ask your minister to conduct a service for the installation of the Kami Shrine or “Tenchi Kakitsuke” (The Divine Reminder). The primary meaning of installing the Kami Shrine in your house means that you acknowledge that the household is transformed into the house of Kami. Like a church, you accept to live centering Kami in your daily living. You may extend your prayers before the altar regularly in the morning, as you go out of the house and in the evening as you go to sleep. You may offer “Takihatsuho” or cooked rice and any other offerings to Kami in the same manner as has been done at the church and regard them as “Osagari” or blessed items. You may keep the sacred rice at the house altar. Some believers dedicate the finest room in the house for Kami and set it up like a church altar. But it all depends on how we conceive Kami through our spiritual eye.
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