Guide to Conduct and...

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Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part3. Rites and Rituals of the Order

Chapter 10. Celebration

Section 4. The Birthday of Śākyamuni Buddha

1. The Birthday of Śākyamuni Buddha, the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar year, is the day for celebrating the coming of Shakyamuni Buddha who is the original guide of the Order. The ceremony shall be performed in the following order:
1) Opening
2) Three Refuges (Ceremonial Text 60)
3) Song of Praising the Śākyamuni Buddha (Hymn 12)
4) Worshipping with repentance (Ceremonial Text 60)
5) Congratulatory address of reverence (Ceremonial Text 61)
6) Mental affirmation
7) Recitation of scriptures (Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra)
8) Dharma discourse
9) Song of the Birthday of the Śākyamuni Buddha (Hymn 37)
10) Four Great Vows (Ceremonial Text 60)
11) Dedicating Merit (Ceremonial Text 60)
12) Closing.
2. Mental affirmation is offered up by each participant according to that person’s wish.
3. The day may be celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar year or on the day of the full moon in the month of May, in accordance with the custom specific to a country or region. Traditional events handed down for generations in the specific region may be celebrated at the same time, provided that superstitious or wasteful practices are avoided.