The Memorial: Trivia
Technically, it’s still the Memorial today (March 24, 2016); the Jews count their days from sunset to sunset, therefore it’s still Nisan 14.
Even though the number of those partaking within the Witness ranks is slowly increasing, the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as explained in the previous article, remain only “respectful observers.” Such being the case, there are certain questions that few Witnesses will think, or care, to ask; nothing major, just interesting FYI situations. It is, I suppose, the sort of thing that might appear under “Questions From Readers” in a typical Watchtower magazine.
I once asked an Elder buddy of mine this: let’s say you’re an anointed Christian, right, and for one reason or other you find yourself attending two Memorials, perhaps you’re giving the Memorial talk for two groups of attendees, perhaps the Kingdom Hall is too small to accommodate everyone at once, whatever. Alternatively, perhaps you’re one of those zealous pioneers with “6000” bible studies. Usually – in South Africa anyways – one Kingdom Hall will be used by two or more congregations, who will each use the Kingdom Hall at different times. Say that your bible studies are only available to attend the Memorial service at different times, and you, like the good pioneer that you are, wish to be with them at their respective times; so effectively, you end up attending two Memorials, okay. Alright. Being “anointed,” of course you’ll partake at the first meeting, right? But what of the second meeting? Do you also partake there? Asked differently, would it be wrong if you didn’t partake at the second meeting? Would declining to partake be a “thing”?
Too hypothetical? Perhaps. But nevertheless…
Secondly, say you profess (“profess”) the heavenly calling – I’m using JW-speak here – so, of course, the obvious practice is that you’ll eat the bread and drink the wine, right. But, now, let’s say you’re allergic to the emblems. Do you still partake? Do you still keep doing this in remembrance of Jesus, even if the physical reaction might be hostile? (Luke 22:19) Put differently, would you be remiss in electing not to partake, despite being anointed? Would it be a “thing”? Would it betray the occasion?
Better yet, what if you’re an alcoholic? What if a mere sip of the vines will precipitate a chemical reaction that will send you on a dangerous spiral?
Too far-fetched? Maybe. But nevertheless…
Thirdly, what happens if you miss the Memorial altogether? Say you’re kidnapped? Say for some unforeseen reason you find yourself in prison, without bail? Say there’s a hurricane during that window period? Say you were in a coma, and you only wake up in Nisan 15 and you’re like: “Ah, shit, I missed it! I freakin’ missed it, y’all!”
Let me punctuate my inquiries here by saying I know that these “what-ifs” may sound ridiculous, but, nevertheless, I submit that they’re not altogether implausible.
Also, I’ve deliberately refrained from tendering my own views on the previous questions, opting instead to let the questions hang, simply because I’m satisfied in knowing what I would personally do in those circumstances. Nevertheless, for the last question, you’d be interested to know what the Governing Body had to say on the subject in a Question From Readers article, Watchtower, March 15, 2003 page 31. You want to read this.
If you’re going to be a Jehovah’s Witness, do yourself a favour, be like the Roman Curia: know the rules, know the rules even better than the Pope himself. In consequence, whenever the Governing Body misbehave, you’ll know. Hence, it is the “boring” literature that you should be schooling yourself on (e.g. the Organized book), and not so much the happy-clappy literature they keep you sedated with.
To be sure, the events surrounding the Memorial are a good place to start, for they are a fundamental theme of the Governing Body’s alleged authority. Trivia or not.
 Numbers 9:19-14: “9 Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying: 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘Although any man of YOU or of YOUR generations should happen to be unclean by a soul or off on a distant journey, he too must prepare the passover sacrifice to Jehovah. 11 In the second month, on the fourteenth day between the two evenings, they should prepare it. Together with unfermented cakes and bitter greens they should eat it. 12 They must not let any of it remain until morning, and they should break no bone in it. According to the whole statute of the passover they should prepare it. 13 But when the man was clean or did not happen to be off on a journey and neglected to prepare the passover sacrifice, that soul must then be cut off from his people, because the offering of Jehovah he did not present at its appointed time. For his sin that man will answer. 14 “‘And in case an alien resident should be residing with YOU as an alien, he also must prepare the passover sacrifice to Jehovah. According to the statute of the passover and according to its regular procedure is the way he should do. There should exist one statute for YOU people, both for the alien resident and for the native of the land.’” ”