Preparation for a Special Occasion
1 “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) Those words are of special significance to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were spoken by Jesus to his disciples when instituting the Lord’s Evening Meal. This occasion is properly celebrated every year on Nisan 14. In 1987 the Memorial of Christ’s death falls on Sunday, April 12. Are you making plans to be there?
PREPARATION NEEDED BY ALL
2 Planning is necessary if we are to derive full benefit from this most sacred day. What plans should we make? First, we have to prepare ourselves mentally. An excellent aid in this is the special Bible reading for April 7-12, as noted on the 1987 calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses. All are urged to follow the reading schedule closely, taking time to meditate on these passages of Scripture. Doing so will help prepare our minds and hearts for this special occasion.
3 Plan to arrive at the Kingdom Hall sufficiently in advance of the scheduled time of the meeting. This will enable you to welcome new ones. Last year the United States branch reported nearly one million more people present at the Memorial than there were out in the field ministry on an average each month of the 1986 service year. We may have many more in attendance this year, since the Memorial will be on a Sunday. Planning to be at the meeting early to greet new ones and others who do not attend meetings regularly may be just what is needed to prompt their further advancement.
4 A special day of field service activity should be planned for that Sunday. Why not make plans NOW to spend time in the ministry? Many will be auxiliary pioneering in April, and this should provide for a greater witness on this special day. Make return visits on former Bible students, subscribers, and others who may come if you remind them. If some Bible students or other interested people will need transportation or someone to accompany them, do what you can to help. Plan to arrive early.
WHAT ELDERS SHOULD PLAN
5 The body of elders will want to give attention to the many details of advance preparation. What do these include? Note the list in the box on page 3.
6 No other congregation meeting should be held on the day of the Memorial. The elders should cancel the regular Public Meeting and arrange to study the Watchtower material for that Sunday either at the Congregation Book Study or on the Saturday before the Memorial. The regular Congregation Book Study material for the week may be studied partially the week before and partially the week following the Memorial. Since there has been a change in the law regarding daylight saving time, it would be good for all bodies of elders to review carefully the Society’s letter dated September 15, 1986, regarding this matter. The elders should consult locally for information regarding the time of sunset on April 12.
7 The Memorial is a special occasion for all of us. It is a time to recount the love Jehovah showed for us by sending his Son to die as a ransom sacrifice, giving us the opportunity to come into a righteous standing with Jehovah. (John 3:16) We would not want to allow any activity either before or after the Memorial celebration to detract from this sacred occasion.
[Box on page 3]
Things to Prepare
(See w85 2/15 p. 19)
1. Has the speaker been informed of the exact time and place of the celebration? Does he have transportation?
2. Who will provide the emblems?
3. Have arrangements been made for someone to bring a clean tablecloth and the required number of glasses and plates?
4. What arrangements have been made to clean the hall?
5. Who will meet with the attendants and servers before the Memorial to go over their duties? When? What will be the procedures to ensure that the audience, speaker, and servers are served efficiently?
6. What announcements will be made regarding the time(s) and location(s) of the meeting(s) for field service on the day of the Memorial?
7. Are arrangements complete to help older and infirm brothers and sisters? Are arrangements made to serve any of the anointed who may be confined and unable to attend?