Eitaikyo means to chant sutras in perpetual memorial tribute to our deceased loved ones. Such services are held at least twice a year: once on the day of passing, with the minister chanting during the mourning service, and another service together with others attending the annual Eitaikyo Service. A sutra is chanted as an expression of gratitude from the family who has made a request that their loved ones be placed in the Eitaikyo book and that a sutra be chanted perpetually. The family’s request is usually accompanied by an offering of dana.
We realize that with the passing of time and changing patterns of family members’ lives, such as residing great distances from Buddhist temples or the performance of daily tasks which take us away from the opportunity to recall within our hearts our loved ones, it becomes increasingly difficult to attend memorial services. Such things happen in this world and yet the wishes of the family are that the deceased be long remembered and tribute paid to our loved ones whether there is any member attending or not. In such cases the deceased will be remembered perpetually through sutra chanting.