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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Memorial of Christ’s Death - Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Observe it Annually?

Jehovah's Witnesses observe the Memorial of Christ’s death (also called “the Lord’s Evening Meal” - 1 Corinthians 11:20) because Christians are commanded to.

Jesus said to "Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:24) But how often?

The Memorial of Jesus’ death is truly a memorial, and memorials are usually observed annually. Additionally, when Jesus was on Earth, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his apostles, and then instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal. Because this meal replaced the Jewish Passover it is appropriate to observe it just once a year.

Does Paul's use of the word "often" mean that the Lord’s Evening Meal should be celebrated more often than once a year?

Referring to the institution of the Memorial of Jesus’ death, Paul wrote: “As often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1 Corinthians 11:25, 26)

So what did Paul mean here? Did he really mean for Christ's death to be commemorated frequently - more often than once a year?

Notice this excerpt from the w03 1/1 p. 31; Questions From Readers; par. 2:

"In the context of 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26, Paul was discussing, not how often, but how the Memorial should be observed. In the original Greek, he did not use the word pol·la′kis, which means “often” or “frequently.” Rather, he used the word ho·sa′kis, which means “as often as,” an idiom meaning “whenever,” “every time that.” Paul was saying: ‘Every time that you do this, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord.’"

For more, see:

The Lord’s Evening Meal - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

On the night before he surrendered his life, Jesus instructed his faithful followers to remember, or commemorate, his sacrifice. Using the unleavened bread and the red wine before them, he instituted what has been called the Last Supper or the Lord’s Evening Meal and commanded: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”—Luke 22:19.

Each year, Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide gather to commemorate Jesus’ death on its anniversary. In 2014, the Memorial falls on Monday, April 14, after sundown.

You are cordially invited to attend this meeting, during which further information on the significance of Jesus’ sacrificial death will be presented. Attendance at this event is completely free. No collections will be taken. Contact your local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses for the time and location of the Memorial that will be held in your area, or you may consult our Web site, More information regarding the Lord's Evening Meal can be found by clicking this link.

Find a Location Near You

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


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