temple services

Services are held every morning that Hirano Sensei is at the Temple. They usually start at 10:00 am. These services are in memory of the individuals who have asked to be a part of the Eitaikyo list.

Dharma School services are generally held at 10:00 am on Sundays from September to June. Please check the Temple calendar for our current schedule.

Once a month there is a Shotsuki Hoyo service. The Shotsuki Hoyo is a service held in memory of temple members who have died during that month. For a list of names for the Shotsuki Hoyo please check the Buddhist Thoughts newsletter.

Before every Board of Directors meeting a service is held at 6:00 p.m.

Families may schedule other services by contacting Hirano Sensei.

Infant Presentation Ceremony (Hatsumairi or Shosanshiki)

The raising of a child is one of the most important tasks in life. It is something that should be done with a great deal of thought. Other than the gift of life, the Dharma is one of the most important gifts you could bestow upon your child.

The Infant Presentation Ceremony gives each family the opportunity to present their child before the Buddha (Truth) and the Sangha. It is held during the Gotan-E service in May. At this ceremony your child will receive a gift of their first Onenju. For the exact date and application form, look in your Buddhist Thoughts newsletters or contact Hirano Sensei.

Weddings (Butsuzen Kekkon shiki)

The Buddhist wedding ceremony is a relatively recent development in the United States, although the Buddhist wedding has a long history in Japan. Since the Meiji period (1868-1912), weddings in Japan have largely been associated with Shinto religious rites. However, in recent years, marriages in large Christian churches have also become common. With the westernizing of Japan, some couples in Japan feel that the atmosphere of a Christian church is more aesthetically pleasing, regardless of personal or family religion.

In the United States, the Buddhist marriage ritual is a combination of American and Japanese marriage customs added to a newly created Buddhist ritual. The vows for the ceremony are said to have originated with Shakyamuni Buddha. However, because of the legal nature of our present society, the actual legal marriage takes place with the signing of the marriage certificate. Therefore, the wedding ceremony at the Temple is a presentation of the couple, before Buddha (Truth) and all those present. It is before Truth, family, and friends that the couple proclaims their love and commitment towards one another.

The Japanese name for this ceremony is Butsuzen Kekkon shiki (before-Buddha binding marriage ceremony). The marriage ceremony consists of chanting, reading of vows, and the burning of incense. A number of other customs have also become popular, such as the exchanging of sake, called the san san ku do. For more information, please contacting Hirano Sensei.

eitaikyo

Eitaikyo means "Perpetual Sutra Chanting." Eitaikyo is a Japanese Buddhist observance. The Chinese character “ei" contains the ideograph for a river with many tributaries that flow out of it. This represents the continuous flowing of a river, leading to the ocean. It refers to the perpetual or to continuation. The character “dai" or in this case pronounced “tai" refers to a period of time or generation. It is an ideograph with the radicals for person and stake or post. It means a place or period of history. "Kyo" is the character for chanting of sutras. Therefore, Eitaikyo represents the continuing flow of the generations upon generations which have allowed us to hear the teachings via the sutras.

The Eitaikyo list is a compilation of members and their families that have contributed to the Temple's Eitaikyo fund. The Eitaikyo fund is a separate fund from the Temple's other funds, set aside for use by the Temple in special circumstances or emergencies, and not to be used for the general upkeep and day-to-day expenses of the Temple. Many Temples also use parts of this fund to help bring in special speakers for their Eitaikyo services.

We have an annual Eitaikyo service held in November. This is a special service, usually with a special speaker, held in memory of the people who have made a special donation to the Eitaikyo fund. However, each morning service held at the temple is also in memory of those listed individuals. If you would like someone added to this Eitaikyo list, please contact Hirano Sensei.

Funerals

Understanding death is necessary to understand Life. As Rennyo states in his Letter on White Ashes, "The fragile nature of human life underlies both the young and old." When death comes to a family member or someone near to you, it is often a time of confusion. When your family goes through this experience the Temple is here to help you in this difficult time.

Special Services

In addition to the regular services, the Temple observes a number of special Buddhist holidays throughout the calendar year. These are times to reflect upon and appreciate the intricate bonds that enable us to live. It is also a time to show our gratitude for the teachings and the teachers that serve as guides on our journey toward spiritual understanding. Although we recognize the official dates of these special observances, other than Shusho-E (New Year's Day) and Joya-E (New Year's Eve), the services are held at the Temple usually on the Sunday nearest the actual date. The Shotsuki Hoyo for that particular month is usually held at this time.