By The Librarian
Jehovah's Witnesses commemorate Christ's death as a ransom or "propitiatory sacrifice" by observing the Lord's Evening Meal, or Memorial. They celebrate it once per year, noting that it was instituted on the Passover, an annual festival. This is the only celebration the Bible commands Christians to observe.
Of those who attend the Memorial, a small minority worldwide partake of the unleavened bread and wine. This is because Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the majority of the faithful have an earthly hope. Only those who believe they have a heavenly hope, the "remnant" (those still living) of the 144,000 "anointed", partake of the bread and wine. In 2014, the number of persons who partook worldwide was
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , whereas the number who attended was Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
The Memorial, held after sunset, includes a talk on the meaning of the celebration and the circulation among the audience of unadulterated red wine and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Jehovah's Witnesses believe the bread symbolizes Jesus Christ's body which he gave on behalf of mankind, and that the wine symbolizes his blood which redeems from sin. They do not believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Because many congregations have no members who claim to be anointed, it is common for no one to partake of the bread and wine.
See also: What is the meaning of the bread and the wine served at the Memorial?
Jehovah’s Witnesses observe the Memorial after sundown on Nisan 14, according to the reckoning of the Jewish calendar that was common in the first century. The Jewish day begins at sundown and extends until the following sundown. So Jesus died on the same Jewish calendar day that he instituted the Memorial. The beginning of the month of Nisan was the sunset after the new moon nearest the spring equinox became visible in Jerusalem. The Memorial date is 14 days thereafter. (Thus the date for the Memorial may not coincide with that of the Passover kept by modern-day Jews. Why not? The start of their calendar months is set to coincide with the astronomical new moon, not the visible new moon over Jerusalem, which may come 18 to 30 hours later. Also, most Jews today keep the Passover on Nisan 15, not on the 14th as did Jesus in harmony with what was stated in the Mosaic Law.)
Memorial is always held on the first full moon after March 21st. It's always a full moon because Memorial is always held 14 days after the new moon. Hebrew months start on the new moon (the new month). Therefore Nisan 14 is always a full moon (+- 24 hours).
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Why is it observed annually?
Talk: The Last Hours of Jesus Christ
Particularly beginning in the 1930’s, prospective members of the “great multitude,” or “great crowd” of other sheep, began to manifest themselves. (Rev. 7:9, 10, KJ; John 10:16) These were at that time referred to as Jonadabs. For the first time, in its issue of February 15, 1938, The Watchtower specifically invited them to be present at the Memorial, saying: “After six p.m. on April 15 let each company of the anointed assemble and celebrate the Memorial, their companions the Jonadabs also being present.” They did attend, not as partakers, but as observers.
By The Librarian
Answer: I made a post about this here a few years ago. I hope it helps.
Remember: "Not even salt!" 😉
By The Librarian
Memorial Bread Recipe
This is in preparation for the Memorial of the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Cups flour -- * (approximately)
1 Cup spring water -- (approximately)
* (preferably freshly ground with the coarsest bran sifted out; either hard whole wheat flour or spelt flour)
You will need a medium sized bowl, a rolling pin, a fork, or a metal comb or other utensil for making holes in the breads, and quarry tiles to fit on the rack of the oven or one or two baking sheets. Place tiles or baking sheets on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 425=B0F. When the oven is hot place 2 cups flour in a medium sized bowl and stir in water until a kneadable dough forms; you may have to add a little more flour or water, depending on your flours. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very quickly and vigorously until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. (Although you are trying to get the dough into the oven quickly, the time spent kneading is important, as it makes the dough easier to roll out very thin.) Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and flatten with lightly floured hands. Work with one piece of dough at a time, keeping the others covered with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of dough as thin as possible. Prick it all over with a fork or or a sharp toothed comb, and then try to stretch it slightly to widen the holes you have made. Transfer to the quarry tiles or baking sheet, placing it to one side to leave room for more breads and bake for 2 and 1/2 to 3 minutes, until golden on the bottom and starting to crisp around the pricked holes. Meanwhile, continue rolling out the dough, placing each bread in the oven as it is ready. If you are working with a partner, one should roll out the dough while the other pricks, stretches and bakes the breads. This will be much easier to get the breads baked in time. If your oven is small, you may not be able to fit in enough breads at once to get them done in time. If so, you can bake some of the breads on the your stove top in a dry skillet, to get them all started baking within the 18 minute time limit. For a traditional crisp, dried matzoh, leave the breads out on a rack to cool completely and to dry. With the small amount of dough this recipe makes, you can get all the breads into the oven if not completely baked) in less than eighteen minutes from when we first add water to the flour. the recipe assumes that you wish to make matzoh within the time limit; without a large commercial oven, and several helping hands for the rolling out, you must begin with a small amount of dough to get all the breads done in time. To make more, make the recipe again a second time. If you aren't worried about complying with the time limit, you can bake in larger batches. Makes 12 thin breads approximately 8" in diameter.
---- Matzo is the unleavened bread made from flour and water with no salt, no oil, and - most important, no yeast.
It is eaten during Passover to commemorate the haste with which the Jewish people fled Egypt. During Passover no yeast or yeasted products may be eaten. In religiosly observant households, the house is thoroughly cleaned and swept, and all old flour, biscuits and other unleavened products are discarded. Matzoh must be made quickly and with clean flour in order to prevent naturally occurring yeasts from making the breads rise. The Shulchan Aruch, a sixteenth-century codification of Jewish law, requires that no more than eighteen minutes should elapse. In order to get everything done within the time limit, many hands are needed to roll out the breads and get them cooked, and only small batches can be made at a time.
By The Librarian
Answer: The Memorial wine is a plain red wine , without any additives, or fortifications. Fermented red grape juice ONLY
Often winemakers are not transparent about what they add to their wine. Most people don't realize that their fancy Cabernet Sauvignon has actually been treated with all kinds of chemicals.
FYI: @JW Insider actually made an interesting comment last year concerning our buying only Passover or Kosher wines here
I have noticed many friends seem to be stressing about the acquisition of the memorial symbols during the coronavirus lockdown. There have been quite a few discussions on social media and in person.
These discussions were mainly regarding the necessity for memorial symbols if such became troublesome to purchase and if no one in the household was a partaker. The elders sent out information, one of which was the 85 WT 2/1/ p. 31 "question from readers" (
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )which says in part: "On occasion, raging storms or floods have prevented a congregation, or some of its members, from meeting together as planned. In rare cases, martial law has been in effect with armed soldiers barring citizens from being out-of-doors after sunset. Other Christians have not been able to be at the congregation’s celebration because of being hospitalized or seriously ill. What can be done in such instances?
While it is fitting for the whole congregation to unite for this important event, circumstances such as noted above may make that impossible. When extreme weather, a natural disaster, or the like, absolutely prevents a family or a portion of a congregation from meeting with the congregation, the isolated ones can meet and discuss Scriptural accounts such as found in Luke 22:7-23, 28-30 and; 1 Corinthians 11:20-31, as well as discussing the meaning of the occasion. Similarly, if an enforced curfew makes it impossible for a congregation to gather on the appropriate night, meeting in Congregation Book Study groups or neighborhood groups might be the best alternative, the sum of those in attendance serving as the congregation’s attendance report. A brief talk may even be given if a capable, dedicated brother is in the group. There need not be concern that no suitable emblems are available as long as no one in this emergency situation previously partook of the bread and the wine as an anointed Christian".
It made me think about the whole topic a little bit more. To observe the memorial was a command by Jesus for the anointed, and as far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Bible commanding the great crowd to observe it, even as spectators. However, at the beginning, before the great crowd was identified, all were partakers. After that, the emblems kept being passed, and those who were anointed partook, and those who were not obviously didn't. Fast forward to today, in a congregation setting, even if we "know" that currently no one partakes, that can change. So while all the anointed are not sealed yet, we cannot assume, and stop passing along the emblems on the account that we think no one is anointed in our congregation. No one is asked beforehand if they are going to partake, that only becomes evident when the emblems reach them, and they eat the bread and drink the wine. That way, no one is put on the spot. Of course, on top of that, since we are one flock, and we support the anointed in everything, we observe the memorial with them, as spectators, and also to show appreciation for what Jesus did for us. But, under lockdown circumstances if we know for sure no one is going to partake in our family, then there is really no need for the emblems. That's how I see it anyway. But some prefer to have the emblems to help them visualize things better. Although we are supposed to be walking by faith, not by sight...😀
I like how our website puts it: "The purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal is to remember Jesus, showing our gratitude for his sacrifice in our behalf. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:24) The observance is not a sacrament, or a religious practice that imparts merit such as grace or the forgiveness of sins. * The Bible teaches that our sins can be forgiven, not by a religious rite, but only through faith in Jesus".—Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1, 2.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Unfortunately, it seems like some are viewing the memorial as some kind of religious ritual, and are even going to pass the emblems among themselves as if touching them somehow makes all the difference....Because I come from a Catholic family, I find this kind of reasoning a little disappointing...
Also, I don't know if anyone has listened to the memorial talk, the brother says that Jehovah's Witnesses would risk their lives to be at the memorial. In view of all the above, isn't that statement a little far fetched?