After sundown on April 4, Tuesday, the more than 8.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) worldwide and their guests will flock to their place of worship, the Kingdom Hall, and several smaller halls to commemorate their most sacred annual event—the Memorial of Christ’s Death.
This is the second time since the COVID pandemic started that JWs will meet in-person to observe Christ’s death anniversary, which is also known as the “Lord’s Evening Meal “or “The Last Supper.” For two years, they held it through video conferencing.
In the Philippines, the program, which lasts for one hour, will be presented in 33 languages, including the Filipino Sign Language, according to James Morales, spokesperson of JWs in the country. It includes a Bible-based discourse that will explain why Jesus’ death is so important and how it can benefit people, he said.
The special occasion is not exclusive to JWs, said Morales. This is the reason they launched a global campaign on March 11 to invite the public to join them in honoring Christ’s sacrificial death.
For three weeks until April 4, the JWs, known for their door-door-ministry, have been going from house-to-house to distribute invitations to family, friends and neighbors, regardless of their faith and background. Last year, 19,721,672 people attended in-person and online in 239 lands, said Morales.
To help the community appreciate the sanctity of the event, a 30-minute Bible-based talk “You Can Face the Future with Confidence” will be presented at Kingdom Halls worldwide this weekend on April 1 and 2, two days before the observance of the Last Supper. Non-JWs are welcome to attend and no collection will be taken, said Morales. They can also watch the program through video conferencing, he said.
Why do JWs observe the Lord’s Supper this year on April 4? “Jesus introduced the observance after sundown on Nisan 14, 33 C.E., according to the Bible’s lunar calendar. We continue to observe the Memorial on this date each year, following the practice of early Christians,” Morales said.
“Although Nisan 14, 33 C.E. was a Friday, the anniversary of that date might fall on a different day of the week each year. We determine the date that Nisan 14 falls each year using the same method as was used in the time of Jesus, rather than applying the method used for the modern Jewish calendar,” he added.