Obon/Hatsubon Service 2020
The Gardena Buddhist Church, as part of the Jodo Shinshu tradition, observes different customs that are designed to help keep our late loved ones close to our hearts. These customs are designed to teach the essence of the Buddha-Dharma as a living tradition and through this to help us to continue to honor and cherish all those who have helped us to live and appreciate our lives. Although losing a loved one is never easy, through the ritual services that help us to remember our loved ones we are helped to discover that their lives are not completely lost to us. The Buddha, for example, in preparing his followers for his imminent death is recorded as having said, “If you do not follow my teaching, then even if you were to sit besides me you would be distant from me. If, however, you were to practice the path, then even if you were distant from me, then you would be very close to me.” Through these words we discover that by honoring life we can remain close.
Obon, in particular, is the time of year when the larger community also comes out to help provide support to those families who have lost a loved one. Hatsubon, or “first Obon,” is the first Obon a family observes without the physical presence of a late loved one. Dancing is part of the observance as a way to express the joy that one is able to discover when one is able to appreciate the gifts that the late individual has provided throughout their lifetime.
Obon/Hatsubon Service Format
Sutra Chanting 読経
Bussetsu Amida Kyo 仏説阿弥陀経
Dharma Messages 法話
English: Rev. John Iwohara 英語：庵原ジョン師
Japanese: Rev. Nobuo Miyaji 日本語：宮地信雄師
Words of Appreciation 感謝の辞