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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 led a round table discussion on this topic with  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 was intended as a friendly educational and historical review.  After the discussion, participants were welcomed to share questions and comments.

Additionally, here are some questions that were 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?


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

  • André Ricardo

    Apparently, the JW leadership is going to the point of not using the emblems at all, such was the case in Guinea, West Afirica: http://ilynca.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/unforgettable-memorial.html?spref=fb&m=1

    Here is an excerpt:

    The special instructions also said that to reduce the risk of contamination we should have no emblems present and not pass the bread or the wine. That’s right, you read that right,no bread or wine for our memorial. (At least I didn’t have to agonize over making the memorial bread just right as I often do every year.)

    And since there was no emblems, the talk did not have to be given after sundown. The first memorial held in our Kingdom Hall was not after Sundown. In fact, the first group of brothers who attended were headed home while it was still light out.

    • Jacqueline

      Andre, wow thank you so much. Imagine a missionary with a blog and a nice one at that and allows you to comment. They could have used little glasses or they should have done it as families. It seems just inviting all the extra people would put them at risk for ebola. But I guess they did what they felt was the solution. Thanks for posting this.

  • some of those present here attended the commemorative badges Jesus’ death on the past 14-04 as the Jewish calendar Nisan 14? Here ate some of unfermented bread and drank wine as the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    http://www.news-of-the kingdom.communities.net / evangelists without borders

    • Jacqueline

      No, Eddie, we are not Jehovah witnesses. Our Memorial was Sunday April 13, 2014. The witnesses was Monday Aril 14, 2014.
      Eddie, also I can’t find your website by the link you provided. Would you post it again after checking it please.

  • hello, Peace Jehovah for everyone, really appreciate the information on this site long ago and I was wondering if the fact that many here fail to be a Jehovah’s Witness is due to a mistake or is it some disenchantment with the governing body, day 14th of this month as you know will be celebrating the death of Jesus better known as a memorial of Jesus, this celebration you sing some song of Jehovah’s witnesses? I believe that anyone who believes and participates in this celebration feels very attracted to Jehovah and his Son Jesus Christ in many hear these songs over the song 126 ‘building with love “is unforgettable, we have neither explain our gratitude, glory Jehovah, that this beloved Son live forever on this date so important for us I’ll be there, that Jehovah is our stronghold beloved friends, God Bless you!

    in time, I follow the site http://www.news-of-the-kingdom.net communities/evangelizers without borders

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Eliomar – Actually there are many Jehovah’s Witnesses who visit this website. Most do not comment. However there are also former JWs visiting here who either left the organization or were disfellowshipped. We have found that the reasons and experiences vary. One common thread of concern seems to be the strong exercise of authority and enforcement by the organization to prevent doctrinal deviations and the sharing of different views (considered Apostasy).

      Our view is that it is better to encourage Christian liberty, allowing the Holy Spirit to bind the Jehovah’s people together. The early Watchtower rightly taught that dictatorial rule and intolerance were tactics of the Papal system, which persecuted the True Church during the Dark Ages, calling Jehovah’s people heretics.

  • John

    Good evening,
    I tried speaking with my elders about why I believe I should partake of the emblems and they keep asking questions that seem to be geared toward me overthinking my position as a partaker. As if they don’t believe me. I was wondering. Can I do the Memorial by myself on Nisan 14 after I leave the hall? I looked up the question online and it seems like when Jesus did it he did it with a group. And when Jesus said ʺwhere ever two or more are gathered in my name, I am with themʺ. Does this mean I can’t do it by myself? I’m afraid that if I partake it won’t be pretty. What should I do?

    • Anonymous

      John as far as I know, you can do it by yourself,in fact, I’ll be partaking on my own on the Sun. April 13th after 6pm.I order a DIY memorial tape from the DAWN Bible students association.

    • Jacqueline

      Br. Peter will also have something posted. Perhaps you can come on with one of ours.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      John – There is actually a script and instructions you can follow to partake of the memorial by yourself or with a group. Find the information here: https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2014/03/20/april-4-wed-join-us-memorial-study-and-testimony-meeting/

      As to whether or not you should partake, that is a personal matter between you and Jehovah. Some like to partake because it makes them feel closer to Jesus and they do it as an act of respect for what Jesus sacrificed. I respect those good motivations. From Jehovah’s point of view, I beleive that the memorial is for Jesus’ prospective body members here on earth. By that, I am referring to those who have been baptized into Christ’s body (Romans 6) and received the Holy Spirit of enlightenment. Each person must decide for themseleves whether they have made the commitment to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me (Jessus).” If you believe that you are a body member of Christ, then no man has the authority to forbid you to partake. Those who have been baptized into Christ’s body are admonished to partake of the emblems and participate in the memorial celebration by Jesus and the Apostle Paul.

      I can supply scriptures and more information upon your request. You can find 16 postings under our topic of “Memorial” which should help to answer your questions more in depth.

      • John

        Thank you so much. I spoke to my elder about it. He said that no one cam judge me. I just know there will be gossip afterwards. I know I’m not going to heaven. Or am I? Idk. But I am going for it this year. A few of the members I’ve spoken with have said “If you feel so strongly about it.” It doesn’t bother me. My friends at the hall seem supportive so I’m excited. My elder said no one should try to question me out of my hope for heaven or earth. But it seems that’s all he did in our talk. Like “Are you sure it’s not this feeling or that feeling? Are you sure, are you sure are you sure?” That’s what he was doing.

        • Peter K. (admin)

          John – As you consider partaking of the memorial, perhaps these scriptures will be of help in validating your decision.

          Romans 12:1-2 NASB
          Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

          Romans 6:3-4, 12-13 NASB
          Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

          Matthew 16:24-25 NASB
          Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

          1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NASB
          For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

          Galatians 5:16-25 NASB
          But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

        • Anonymous

          John, when I first received the heavenly call(almost 3Yrs. ago; I thought I was going crazy or maybe my medications had something to do with it. So I prayed to Jehovah about it and quit taking certain medications to see if my hope would change….it did not,in fact,when I read the Bible I would turn to certain scriptures(almost automatically)to confirm my hope! There is no doubt in my mind,whatsoever,that I have the heavenly calling.

  • max

    To Peter;

    If I understood you correctly, all faithful ones living of the little flock must die and go to heaven. When the little flock or bride class is complete in the heavens then the great tribulation will spring and the great multitude must come through that. When do they end up dying and going to heaven to assist the bride? They could keep living for some amount of time could they not?

    Likewise, their are quit a number of little flock who have a few decades or more of life to prove themselves, do they not?

  • max

    To Peter;

    The great company as a class-t is begotten of spirit, but fail to keep their robes clean are represented by the wheat not fully ripened at the time of the gathering. But after the “little flock” has been resurrected, the great company, still on plane M, will be manifested as a class, as shown by the topless pyramid t. After expierienceing great tribulation, these will request the Father, through their advocate, to remove the “spots” from their robes. The ones who overcome will die and then be resurrected at the same time the foolish virgins, who died down through the gospel age, are also resurrected. Rev 7:13-15

    Is this true Peter? Divine Plan of the Ages

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thanks Max. For others to reference, an example of the Chart you are referring to is here: http://www.internationalbiblestudents.com/chart.shtml#cota037

      I agree that the Great Multitude who died throughout the Gospel Age will receive a spiritual resurrection. I think the focus of the Wise and Foolish Virgins parable (Matt 25:1-13) is the end of the Gospel Age, connecting with Jesus second presence.

      Personally I believe the Great Tribulation that the Great Multitude experiences has a double application. One of those applications is harmonizing this personal tribulation with 1 Cor 3:10-15, where those who build on their foundation in Christ – wood, hay and stubble must be saved through fire (trials that sanctify them and clean the spotted robes (1 Pet 4:12). This is not something they request, but Jehovah brings it on these brethren to clean the spots on their robes that they allow to remain through compromising (serving God and mammon). The second application is, I believe, is at the time approaching Armageddon. The bride (144,000) is complete and in heaven. They have given their final message on earth (typified in Elijah and John the Baptist). The Great Multitude also has a final message (typified by Elisha) which brings on their end and resurrection to the spirit nature to join as the virgin companions of the bride of Christ (Psalms 45:14)

  • max

    To Peter;

    The word month is used a few hundred times at least and months about 50. So because the Jews have passover 3-26-2013 6p.m. to 3-27-2013 6 p.m. and some don’t reconize the Jews as having the right date, should we assume all those dates given in the Bible are wrong dates but approximates?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Let me repeat Brother Russell’s comment here, which I think is quite helpful: “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 …

      I think the following article will help clarify the challenges in determining the date for the Memorial: http://www.heraldmag.org/2005/05ma_10.htm

      “In modern times, a lamb is no longer slaughtered by the Jews so that less emphasis is placed upon the fourteenth day and the current Jewish calendar does not give it any significance.”

      “Further, because the Jewish day commences at six o’clock in the evening, Nisan 14 actually begins on the day marked Nisan 13 on the Jewish calendar. After six p.m. on the day shown as Nisan 13 is the appropriate time for our Memorial celebration. Thus, the Memorial consistently falls two days prior to the published Jewish calendar date for Passover (Nisan 15).”

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