Guide to Conduct and...

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Guide to Conduct and Ceremony

Part3. Rites and Rituals of the Order

Chapter 12. Great Memorial Service

Section 4. Rite of Great Memorial Service

1. For three days before the Great Memorial Service, the temples shall be cleaned, the venues for the ceremony solemnly decorated, and one’s mind and body purified. On the day of the Service, the ceremony shall be held for the main seats as well as the special seats. The ceremony shall be performed in the following order:
1) Opening
2) Entering Samadhi
3) Song of the Order (Hymns 2)
4) Mental affirmation
5) Reporting the status of the tablet
6) Reverential entreating (Ceremonial Text 66) and invocation and song of praise
7) Prostration together
8) Recitation of scripture (the Vow)
9) Burning of incense by guests
10) Closing.
2. In reporting the status of the tablet, the total number of the memorialized, conforming to each rank and the names and honorific cognomens of newly enshrined memorial tablets for the year, shall be reported.
3. With the audience standing, the officiator of the ceremony shall entreat the memorialized. The public shall bow in respect for each one. At the June First Great Memorial Service the entreating of the Founding Master, invocation, and a song of praise are followed by the entreating of all the remaining ancestors, invocation and songs of praise. At the Thanksgiving Great Memorial Service the entreating of the Founding Master and the successive forefathers, invocation, and songs of praise are performed together. The invocation and songs of praise shall proceed in the following order:
1) Invocation text addressed to the Founding Master (Ceremonial Text 67) and Hymn dedicated to the Founding Master (Hymn 6).
2) Invocation text addressed to the Cardinal Masters (Ceremonial Text 68) and Hymn dedicated to Cardinal Masters (Hymn 7).
3) Invocation text addressed to Great Servants of the Way and Great Protectors of the Dharma (Ceremonial Text 69) and Hymn dedicated to Great Servants of the Way and Great Protectors of the Dharma (Hymn 8).
4) Invocation text addressed to Ordained Devotees (Ceremonial Text 70) and Hymn dedicated to Ordained Devotees (Hymn 9).
5) Invocation text addressed to Lay Devotees (Ceremonial Text 71) and Hymn dedicated to Lay Devotees (Hymn 10).
6) Comforting text addressed to Ordinary Ordained or Lay Adherents (Ceremonial Text 72) and the Song of Buddha’s Disciples (Hymn 18).
7) Invocation text addressed to Bestowers (Ceremonial Text 73) and Hymn dedicated to Bestowers (Hymn 11).
8) Invocation text addressed to Parents and Ancestors (Ceremonial Text 74) and the Song for the Departed (Hymn 47).
9) When honoring Past Sages and Sentient Beings, there will only be the burning of incense followed by bowing twice and praising and comforting them by the Song of the Ethics of Threefold Unity (Hymn 75).
4. The reciter shall deliver the invocation text to the Founding Master and each of the successive forefathers, offering a full bow twice. The rest of the assembly shall bow their heads where they are seated with their palms joined together. Singing the concerning hymns, either by the choir or the assembly, shall immediately follow each invocation text.
5. After the June First Great Memorial Service, a dharma service shall be held in memory of the Founding Master, to reveal the meaning of cherishing and repaying the fundamental beneficence. After the Thanksgiving (Dec. 1st) Great Memorial Service, a memorial dharma service for all the forefathers and joint holiday events shall be organized to further encourage dedication to their memory and to further deepen friendship and unity among members.
6. As needed, the regional temples may observe the Thanksgiving Great Memorial Service on a suitable date before or after December 1, such as the day of the regular dharma service closest to December 1.