Mumbai: Jehovah’s Witnesses To Observe Memorial Of Jesus On March 24

Mumbai: Jehovah’s Witnesses To Observe Memorial Of Jesus On March 24

Sect follows Jewish lunar calendar where day differs from year to year; other groups follow universal Gregorian calendar

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Friday, March 22, 2024, 10:15 PM IST
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Remembrance Day in 2023 |

Mumbai: While other Christians will observe March 29 as ‘Good Friday’ to mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, one sect – Jehovah’s Witnesses – will meet on Sunday, March 24 for ‘Remembrance Day’ as a memorial of his death.

This is because the sect follows the Jewish lunar calendar where the day differs from year to year. The other groups follow the universal Gregorian calendar where the date of crucifixion always falls on Friday.

On Sunday, Mumbai’s Jehovah’s Witnesses, like millions of members of the community across the world, will gather at sundown to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. The day is considered the most important day of the year for Jehovah’s Witnesses who will gather at Kingdom Halls, as their religious centers are called, or other spaces, for congregational prayers.

Easter, which comes on the Sunday following Good Friday, marking the resurrection of Jesus, is not celebrated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “This is because Jesus only commanded his followers to observe Remembrance Day,” said Norman D’Souza, spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The community does not observe Lent, the month of fasting, austerity, and prayers, that precede Good Friday, for the same reason, though it is not forbidden.

D’Souza said that the memorial is observed annually on Nisan 14 of the Jewish calendar in adherence to Jesus’ statement, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”

Over 20 million people attended event in 2023

The event is open to members of other religious groups. It is estimated that over 20 million people attended the event in 2023 though there are 8.6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world.

“Around the world, many people who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses attend the Memorial. We hope that members of our local community will also join us in remembering the death of Jesus Christ to show gratitude for his sacrifice,” said D’Souza.

While it is a solemn occasion, it is also a joyous one, said community members. There were special programmes on March 16 and 17 that were attended by thousands of people. One of the attendees was J Jayaprakash. “My family looks forward to the special talk and the Memorial all year. Both events are practical and instructional, but they also help us to pause and reflect on all the things we can be grateful for, things that we can consider blessings from God,” said Jayaprakash.

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