Benefiting Fully From the Memorial
1 “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) With those words our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night of instituting the Lord’s Evening Meal, set forth a command for his followers. That command is still observed faithfully on the anniversary date of Nisan 14 to our very day over 1,900 years later. In this year of 1984 the date for the Memorial celebration is Sunday, April 15, after sundown. At that time, in upwards of 46,200 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the earth, God’s people will come together in obedience to Jesus’ command.
2 Celebrating the Memorial has great meaning to Jehovah’s Witnesses. In some instances those who are the anointed brothers of Christ with prospects of reigning with him in the heavenly Kingdom will be among the attenders. Other gatherings may be made up entirely of those whose hope it is to be part of the “great crowd” foretold in Revelation 7:9. These have earthly hopes of life under God’s Kingdom. But in either case, because it is such a special occasion, Jehovah’s Witnesses make great effort to encourage others to be in attendance at the observance, inviting all persons showing interest in Bible truth. So what can we do to ensure that the greatest number of persons desirous of properly observing the Memorial of Christ’s death are in attendance? Here are a number of things to have in mind.
THINGS TO DO
3 Now is the time to be distributing Memorial invitations to our Bible students and to those who have manifested interest in the truth because of our preaching and teaching activity. It may be necessary to help some make arrangements to attend. Be sure you let them know the time and place for the Memorial celebration, since this information is not indicated on the invitation. You may want to use your regular congregation handbill in conjunction with the Memorial invitation.
4 It would be good to explain to new ones what takes place at the Memorial celebration. Some of those you invite may know very little about why the Memorial was instituted, who partake of the emblems and why unleavened bread and red wine are used. You can also explain the hope of those partaking in contrast with that of observers who do not partake of the Memorial emblems.
5 Some in the congregation may have a part in seeing to it that the Kingdom Hall, or some other location to be used, is neat and clean, with well-arranged seating. The elders will want to be sure that the unleavened bread, red wine and necessary utensils are provided, that the sound equipment is in good working order, and that attendants and servers are assigned and instructed for the occasion. A capable elder should be assigned to deliver the Memorial talk. The Society provides an appropriate outline for this. The talk should provide rich spiritual nourishment for all, whether they are of the anointed or the other sheep, or are newly interested ones.
6 Elders will also want to be sure the time schedule is adhered to, particularly where more than one congregation will be using the same hall. Individually and as family groups, all in the congregation can benefit from selected Bible reading during the days just prior to the Memorial. Reading the Bible account of events leading up to the institution of the Memorial can build our appreciation for the Memorial celebration. An outline for such Bible reading is set out herewith. Once again, may all of us benefit fully from the Memorial celebration and, by our conduct and interest in this special occasion, make it evident to everyone that we indeed are celebrating the Memorial “in remembrance” of Christ.
Bible Reading Schedule for Memorial Week
Tuesday, April 10 (Nisan 9) Mark 11:1-11
Wednesday, April 11 (Nisan 10) Mark 11:12-19
Thursday, April 12 (Nisan 11) Mark 11:20–13:37
Friday, April 13 (Nisan 12) Mark 14:1-11
Saturday, April 14 (Nisan 13) Mark 14:12-16
Sunday, April 15 (Nisan 14) Mark 14:17–15:47