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Celebrating the Memorial – Listen to the Conference Call Here


Read the handout “Pictures of Jesus’ Sacrifice”  by clicking here:


Celebrating the Memorial Bible Student Elder, David Stein previously led a round table discussion on this topic.  Joining him will be Bible Student Elders Ric Cunningham and Len Griehs.

  • How did the Early Church celebrate the Memorial?
  • How did the Early Watchtower Bible Students celebrate the Memorial under the teachings of Brother Charles Taze Russell?
  • How do Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate it today and is that different?

This is intended as a friendly educational and historical review.  After the discussion, participants will be welcome to share questions and comments.

Additionally, here are some questions that will be discussed:

1.  What is the Memorial all about?

2.  How is it related to Passover?

3.  What did Jesus instruct his followers to do?

4.  What is the meaning of the emblems (bread and cup)?

5.  Who should partake and why?




Conference Call Phone #: 267-507-0240
After connecting dial: 991337
Date: March 9, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Central and 4:00 pm West Coast

How to participate:
4 * – Self-Mute Line (toggle)
5 * – Raise Hand for Q&A

39 comments to Celebrating the Memorial – Listen to the Conference Call Here

  • anonym

    to the owners:
    sorry .. I did not understand … when do you celebrate the Memorial this year ?

  • max

    To Peter;

    Did a search under; first sighting of new moon in Jerusalem. Here is what it brought me. 14 Pesach
    Day of Redemption
    The Lamb of Elohim slain
    The Oringanal fast of Ester 4:16
    26 Mar 2013 C.E. sunset to 27 Mar 2013 C.E. sunset
    Day 2,190,563

  • James

    I find it interesting that this is just one more theological doctrine that Christians cannot agree on. What do Christians agree on? Very little. Most churches do communion on Sundays at various times a year. The JW’s, BS, and Armstrong followers do it once a year. Yet, there is disagreement across the board on this one simple subject. Christians disagree because the Bible is not specific, if not divisive. Which ever belief system you chose to believe in, there is a good chance you are wrong, but again – who can say? We need a Bible that actually says what it says, and means what it means. Instead, we have a Bible that can be interpreted differently by everyone who reads it. Jesus summed up his theology in one word – LOVE. Even Paul talked against divisive doctrines. And Christianity is swamped with them. Jesus was a Jew who started no new religion. His message was strictly for the Isrealites, who were just as divided, and just as confused as we are today. Did not Paul say that knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. A lesson we still have not learned.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      James – Thanks for sharing. Yes knowledge can puff up. However, accurate Bible knowledge is necessary to learn how to be like Jesus and develop the fruits of the spirit. Knowledge can be a source of pride, but if used well, it can be an engine of spiritual growth. There are many different points of view. So what is the solution. The solution James is to take personal responsibility and sacrifice your personal time to make a study of the Bible. In Luke 11:13 (NASV) Jesus says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Don’t worry about the confusion of different opinions James. Since you truly love the Lord, pray for the Holy Spirit and guidance, then work hard and honestly at it. God will bless your efforts and you will have personal conviction from understand all points of view on a topic and seeing the once that makes most sense. The differences of opinion are largely due to lazy Christians who believe what they are told.

  • max

    does not count the best intentions.

    Lev 23:5In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings is the passover to Jehohavah.”

    When God said do not kill. Do not steal. And I break into a home to steal lots of money and I kill the owner is that okay? Before you say it is not, here me out. My good intention is to divide this with the poor people so they can eat for a long time. My intentions are to help the thousands of people at the expanse of one person. Now do my intentions make it okay?

  • A narrow-minded ritual created by men and that men ritualized. One does not just “remember” the Master on one night? We does this each and every day as he is “Lord of the Sabbath.”

    On any day, hour, minute and second when one makes disciples to Jesus, they “remember” what he commanded us to do. (Matthew 28:19-20)

    It is a gross misunderstanding to think Jesus meant for his disciples to congregate on particular evenings to remember him by partaking of bread and wine. What were they doing on the other 364 days of the year? Not remembering him?

    Even the Watch Tower and BS do not agree on which evening to “remember” him. This should raise a red flag to all that these are simply “humans” doing what they want and defining for themselves “how it is going to be.”

    Why would anyone just “assume” because Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples that he instituted an “annual” celebration.

    The Watch Tower Insight book Vol 2, page 268 says:

    “According to Luke and Paul, when instituting the Memorial of his death Jesus said: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Lu 22:19; 1Co 11:24) From this it is reasonable to understand that Jesus meant that his followers should celebrate the Lord’s Evening Meal annually, not more often.”

    Notice the “assumption” made for everyone else that “From this it is reasonable to understand that Jesus meant that his followers should celebrate the Lord’s Evening Meal annually.” Really? Jesus NEVER says such a thing.

    Religious organizations putting words in Jesus’ mouth.

    Christ warned about “commands of men as doctrines” (Matt 15:9) And, what is called “The Memorial” is nothing but a “tradition” created by men and NOT instituted by Christ.

    If such a thing was outstandingly important, we would see it seeded throughout Scripture; and we do not.

    You dishonor God and His Son because YOU mark yourself that one out of 365 days is “more important” and special to you than each day (The Sabbath) in which you are to follow Christ, be led and taught by him, and do the will of the Father as he did.

    When we pray to the Father through Christ we ask Him to “Give us today our bread for this day.” This what Jesus was talking about. Not a literal bread but Christ himself as he is the “true bread from heaven” and the “bread of life.” (John 6:23)

    That he died for us all, does not mean that this bread has gone stale and no longer be fed upon. We MUST continue to feed on the “living one.” This requires that we remember him. (Not by a ritual)

    We remember the life (blood) he gave in our behalf by also emulating his conduct and doing the will of the Father. His is the “new and fine” wine. We show appreciation for what he did by doing our best in our service to him and not wasting and spilling this fine wine.

    Yet, many of you have not understood and do not wish to. You make a mockery and a one-night ritual out of The Masters command to ALWAYS remember him. As he has stated at Matthew 28:20:

    “And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

    Does that sound like Christ is especially with us one “one evening?” No! But on all days. Therefore, remember him on all days.

    I know a lot of you do not want to hear this as you love your traditions and hate to let them go. But I find it hypocritical for you to harp on persons within “Christendom” who celebrate Christmas, Easter and the other so-called Christian holidays and YOU have this tradition. What makes you any different? They have their traditions that neither God or Christ commanded and you have yours.

    None of you listen to Christ. You do as YOU please and you teach others to follow suit. (Luke 9:35)

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jerome, you say, “One does not just “remember” the Master on one night? We does this each and every day as he is “Lord of the Sabbath.””

      I certainly agree with you. Our devotion to the Lord should be daily. However, why do you consider it a crime to set aside a special annual day, just as Jesus did himself with the disciples. What harm is done. Why don’t you attend with us Bible Students and see for yourself, then judge.

      Do you think it was a crime when Jesus celebrated the typical Passover ever year with his disciples? If not, what is so terrible about commemorating the more important annual memorial of Jesus’ death?

      In Volume 6, page 481, Brother Russell said, “It is not for us to say which is the superior method [for calculating the date of the Memorial] but our preference is to hold to that which the Lord and the apostles practiced not with a subserviency which would make us feel that we had committed a crime if we erred in the calculation and celebrated on a wrong date but nevertheless with a satisfaction that we have endeavored to follow as closely as possible the divine institution the pattern …”

  • max

    Ex 12:6,”the whole community of Israel will kill the animals.” When? Ex 12:6,”evening of the fourteenth day of the month.” How often? Ex 12:14,”Celebrate it for all time to come.” Who was there? The whole community. The priestly class and the non priestly glass. Did both classes do the same thing? Ex 12:4,”If the family is to small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbor may share an animal.” 12:21,”Moses called for all the leaders and said to them.” Luke 22:7,8,”when the lambs for the Passover were to be killed. Jesus sent to Peter and John with these instructions: Go and get the Passover meal ready for us to eat.”

    Three interesting questions. Was it not a meal to eat? Why was it changed,after Jesus death? For those 1500 plus years how did they know when to observeit, since they didn’t have the calulating methods of today?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Max – I will give my two cents.

      Ex 12:14 (ASV) “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to Jehovah: throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”

      So Passover Day was to be a memorial or remembrance of the passing over (delivering) of the Firstborn (representing the Anointed New Creation. Jesus was pictured by the Passover lamb (John 1:29; 1 Cor 5:6). In Luke 22:19, Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of me.” So the memorial of Jesus, the lamb of God, replaced the Jewish Passover memorial. The seven day Passover feast followed the Jewish Passover. However, since Jesus would be dead when the Jews were eating the Passover meal, he ate the meal with them a day early. However, the memorial is not about the feast, as much as about this new institution of the bread and wine which represented our receiving of justification through Jesus Ransom sacrifice and our participation in taking up our cross and following him.

      Although the Jews generally celebrated Passover on the New Moon nearest the Spring Equinox, the Christian Church at the Council of Nicea changed this to distance the Church from the Jewish Customs. Although many have not celebrated the memorial on the precise date over the centuries, we trust that Jehovah does not count the best of intentions in this matter as a crime when there is a mistake on the date.

  • Jesus did not tell any of us to remember him annually. You “Keep doing this” in remembrance of him each and every day (daily) by doing the Father’s will as “he” did. This is the bread and wine people.

    You have made a ritual out of “objects” and have failed to understand what he meant. Eating bread and drinking wine or observing it does nothing.

    Many of you are like the Pharisee, Nicodemus.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jerome – Controversy over the date of this annual date began as early as the second century. The initial controversy wasn’t over whether the memorial was annual, but regarding the date. So do you consider the fact that Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:29)on the date of Passover a coincidence? I agree with you about putting this into practice every day of our life. That is what the Christian walk is about. Yes you are right that if it merely a ritual, we don’t understand it.

      How do you feel that we figuratively drink of the the wine and eat of the bread every day. Do you see the bread as having a specific symbolic meaning? How about the cup/wine?

      In Volume 6, page 481, Brother Russell says, “It is not for us to say which is the superior method [of calculating the date of the memorial] but our preference is to hold to that which the Lord and the apostles practiced not with a subserviency which would make us feel that we had committed a crime if we erred in the calculation and celebrated on a wrong date but nevertheless with a satisfaction that we have endeavored to follow as closely as possible the divine institution the pattern …”

  • Dupin

    I’ve put it on my calender and hope to be in the audience. There is a convention going on as well which I hope to catch. If their Vesper service is at the same time I’ll just break away for the phone call. At least that’s the plan.

  • Seeking The Truth

    Hi, Im a former JW and plan on going to the BS Memorial. but i just had the JW at my door with there invite. My question is Why is the BS and JW having there memorial on Different days? or was i miss informed by a BS? Thanks D.

    • Jacqueline

      Hi, last few years our dates were the same. The JW go by the Jewish passover calendar. I think the brothers will discuss that on the call in this saturday. There is really only 1 day difference. I could post how it is calculated but I think it will be covered and this will be posted after broadcast. Take Care of yourself, In Christ, Jacqueline

  • Shirley Jackson

    I look foreword to tuning in. Thank you for shareing.

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