Reflecting on the Fire and Water Ceremony Held in Singapore

January 28, 2018
Singapore

On November 19th, 2017, Her Holiness Shinso Ito conducted a Shinnyo Fire & Water Ceremony in Singapore, speaking to those in attendance about the significance of the sacred ceremony.

“First, with a rite of water, we’ll offer prayers for all victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts, as well as for all our departed friends and relatives. We’ll invite them to the altar, and their essence will be represented by lanterns. We will offer gratitude for all life in the past, present and future that is connected to us being alive today, by conducting a merit transfer rite with water, a symbol of compassion.”

During the ceremony, Her Holiness along with Shinnyo members from various regions in Asia and Oceania, were joined by leaders of diverse faith communities representing Hinduism, Taoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Bahai Faith and more. Local partners helped to build up the ceremonial space and were also invited to participate in the floating of lanterns and the offering of wooden sticks into the homa fire.

“The homa fire represents wisdom and the courage to step forward, with warmth and positivity, and overcome hardship and adversity,” Shinso Ito explained. “108 sticks, representing the 108 delusions that affect human beings, will be thrown into the homa fire with prayers to bring all our good intentions to fruition.”

The ritual was followed by artistic performances featuring dancers from different countries, dressed in their ethnic attire. They performed to a well-known song that originated in Singapore.

Closing the ceremony, Her Holiness called to mind the words of Founding Master Shinjo Ito: ‘Religion and spiritual practice can manifest great power when built on earnest prayer.’

Her Holiness then offered the Goreiju and the Jojusan, two distinctive Shinnyo chants together with the entire audience, bringing a diversity of faiths and cultures together in oneness, “working together to build a future of hope for all life.”