An Introduction to our Services and Rituals.

Weekly Services

We invite you to join us at our weekly Sunday service, conducted in both English and Japanese, for all ages, providing an opportunity to further an understanding of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

Services are held every Sunday at 10:00 AM


Shotsuki Memorial Service

Shotsuki Memorial Service is a general memorial service held monthly to remember members and friends of our Higashi Honganji Betsuin who passed away during the month in which it is held.

Memorial services are held often according to our Buddhist tradition.  In our annual calendar of events, major memorial services honoring members include the Eitaikyo Service and the Obon Service.  There are also the services at pre- described intervals (49th-day, 100th-day, 1-yr., 3rd-yr., 7th-yr., 13th-yr., 17th-yr., etc.) for individuals called Nenki Hoyo, held separately by families.  The Shotsuki is primarily for observing the memorial of an individual that does not fall on any of those special years.

The Memorial Service in our Jodo Shinshu tradition, although held in honor of the deceased, is received as an opportunity given to us by the persons we honor, to encounter and to listen to the teachings of the Buddha.
Through remembrances of our family members and friends passed on, and through the Dharma, we are able to reflect on our daily life.

Although changes from the format will occur depending on the week and occasion, the items listed below will be incorporated in all of the Sunday Services.

1. Ringing of the BeIl (Kansho)
  The large gong is rung by the minister to signal the beginning of the funeral service.
Sutra Chanting
  At our temple, the Shoshin-ge, a poem composed by Shinran Shonin, the founder of our tradition, is normally read. On other occasions, the Tanbutsu-ge, a poem which is included in one of the sutras, is read. Sutra are the records of the Buddha’s sermons, of which there are thousands extant. Since these chants are read in their Chinese texts with Japanese pronunciation, they are not chanted for comprehension. Rather, it is a symbolic gesture of listening to the Dharma and considered as a form of meditation. The Jodo Shinshu tradition is unique in that all congregants, not only the priests, are encouraged to chant together. Through participation in the chanting, the full experience of the Buddhist service is realized.
Incense Offering and Gassho
  A symbolic cleansing of the mind and body before receiving the Dharma. It is not a purification rite. The burning of incense symbolizes the transcending of selfishness or ego to become one with all others. Gassho is the gesture of placing the hands together in front of the chest, symbolizing the unity of oneself with the Buddha and is the highest form of respect.
Offering (Osaisen)
  Monetary offerings are made during the service, generally at the time that one comes forward for the incense offering.  The donation may be placed on a tray located on the incense burner table or in the large wooden box nearby.
Singing of Gathas
  In contrast to the traditional chanting, Gathas are modern musical expressions of the Dharma.
 Three Treasures
  Taking refuge in the Three Treasures(Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) is the universal affirmation of all Buddhists. The first part, which is sung, is in the ancient Pali language of India. The second part, which is recited in English, elaborates on the Pali verses.


Weddings can be held at the temple.  Please contact the temple office for more information.


Memorial Services

Memorial services for the deceased are observed on the 7th day, 49th day, 1st year, 3rd year, 7th year, 13th year, 17th year, 23rd year(25th year), 33rd year, and 50th year.


Funeral services can be held at the temple upon advanced scheduling.  Below are descriptions of the various proceedings involved in a Buddhist funeral.  Please refer to Rites of Passage for more detailed information.

1. Ringing of the BeIl (Kansho)
  The large gong is rung by the minister to signal the beginning of the funeral service.
2. Kanzen Dokyo Sutra Chanting
  Sutra chanting is done by the ministers before the casket.
3. Homyo Juyo
   The Dharma Name presented to the deceased.
4. Ingo
   Honorary name presented to the deceased in recognition of their services to the temple.
5. Butsuzen Dokyo Sutra Chanting
  At our temple, the Shoshin-ge, a poem composed by Shinran Shonin, the founder of our tradition, is read. Family members in hierarchical order offer incense, followed by relatives. Guests are last, then customarily bow to the family as they return to their seats.
6. Nadame
   A gatha sung by the ministers and the congregation rises.
7. Ryakureki
  A personal history of the deceased is given by a representative chosen by the family.
8. Daihyo Shoko
  Incense in offered by individuals representing affiliations of the deceased.
9. Choji
  Words of condolensce are given by a person chosen by the family.
10. Nadame
   A gatha sung by the ministers and the congregation rises. 
11. Howa
  A sermon is given by the officiating minister.
12. Shaji
  Words of gratitude are given by a person representing the family of the deceased.