Preparing for our yearly Sejiki Ceremony

This year we held our annual Sejiki Ceremony outdoors, due to COVID.

Sejiki has an unusual chant, which the entire assembly participates in. We recommend that participants familiarize themselves with the chant prior to the actual ceremony, held on the eve of Friday, October 30th. See below for the transcript and recording of the chant. The Obon Sejiki-e is a ceremony to comfort the ancestral spirits, and is an important ceremony in the Sōtō Zen School. This ceremony is performed as a way of making offerings to the family ancestors, to one’s parents, relatives, and spirits of other people we are connected with, as well as for spirits that are no longer connected to any living person.

Due to the pandemic, this ceremony was made available online as well as in-person to a limited number of participants. It took quite a feat of coordination as it occurred outdoors, using both live voices as well as recordings.