At one point I nearly embarrassed my wife and burst into unbridled laughter. This moment came during the ceremony when I first noticed the memorial taker's complete ineptitude and absent-mindedness when it came to passing the emblems. I was wondering if anyone experienced anything similar?
Well, nothing out-of-the-way happened where many people filled the ballroom where the Memorial of Christ's Death was hosted last night where I attended.
Apparently, even though he had given the emblem (either the bread or the wine) to the memorial attendants, and received the same to put back on the table at the front, he evidently felt that this did not sufficiently constitute "passing" the emblems, and therefore needed to give the emblem back again before receiving it a final time and placing it back down on the table.
The attendants are cognizant of the fact that all eyes are on them in their role as servers in discharging their duties, and in addition being concerned about their own comportment on such a solemn occasion, there are variables for which there are contingencies in place (such as when a spill occurs and the wine splashes upon themselves or other attendees, which can cause foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences for which the attendants are not always prepared to handle), and sometimes babies cry causing a mother or a father to suddenly want to move from their seats at the very moment when one of the emblems is being passed to them.
Really, how many observers in this circumstance will have the presence of mind to realize that this is a symbolic ritual that doesn't require them to touch the glass or the plate, and how many observers will suspend leaving their seat in order to at least pass the particular emblem that is heading their way while the baby continues to cry?
No invitee to a special gathering wants to do anything to be the cause of disturbing or ruining it, so attendant-servers have to remember that they are attendant-servers and that there are other attendants that will handle anything auxiliary to making sure that all in attendance are served, so that the attendant-servers do not allow themselves to become distracted and attendees -- partakers and observers alike -- have to remember that as distressing as it might be to him or her that their child is crying, they have to hope the other attendees realize that babies cry, and that when they cry, they will do so without any advance warning. As a result, it is only the partaker that will have to make himself or herself more conspicuous than is usually the case by his or her having to leave their crying child in the care of someone else while they take that very necessary, but conspicuous walk up to the table to partake, knowing that all eyes will be on what they are doing.
I nearly laughed out loud when I saw it, but managed to contain my decorum. The whole thing evoked memories of memorials of years gone by where the talk-giver actually seats himself on the front row to receive each of the emblems before getting back up on his feet to continue with his talk. Absolute certifiable madness.
If I had seen what you saw last night, I'm not sure that I would have been able to stifle a chuckle and maintain a poker face, but it's not like these attendants are professional attendant-servers either, so knowing as they do that much is expected of them, sensing in themselves that they may be doing something wrong, there's always the possibility that there may be a flub and that flub may cause some that should see it smile or laugh as they begin to reflect on how wonderful it is that sisters are typically not chosen to be attendants, let alone attendant-servers, and that they aren't this attendant-server. Even though the Society does provide instructions on the manner in which the emblems ought to be served, they may be interpreted differently by some congregations so that execution of the ritual itself may differ from one Memorial to another Memorial. Humans are imperfect and at times many of them have done some very funny things after which laughter, or, at minimum, a smile, follows.
Is it me, or does this betray a complete lack of common sense and sound judgment on the part of these guys? They are obviously so overcome by paranoia and the importance of their "privilege" that they believe Jehovah is there watching their every move and putting a big black cross next to their names if they don't handle the emblems in a certain way.
Some of the mistakes that these attendant-servers might betray a lack of common sense, not necessarily a "complete" lack, but I would say when finding themselves in the limelight, as they are, it may not so much be sound judgment as it is inexperience that grips them, especially if this should be the very first that they have assumed the role of being attendant-servers at the Memorial of Christ's Death. I have no way of really knowing, but I feel reasonably certain that none of them are thinking Jehovah is watching their every move. Remember that they are at the Memorial first and foremost out of respect for the Lord Jesus Christ, because Jesus did command his followers 'do this in remembrance of him,' and if they are not partakers, but observers only, they could have skipped the Memorial since only partakers are commanded to "do this" every year until Jesus comes. You attended the Memorial, doing so in response to a request from @MRScedars, rather than being motivated to do so in response to Jesus' command, and I believe Jesus would be appreciative of this as I would be were I to pass away and receive a heavenly resurrection and see you in attendance at my funeral. Sometimes people bring others with them to observe the funeral of someone that these people had never met and didn't know, but the living that observes these persons at the funeral, especially members of the deceased family, are often grateful that these observers attended the funeral.
It doesn't take a genius to realise that they have "passed" the emblems simply by touching them, or by being a link in the chain that passes them along to others. The over-the-top idiotic approach only makes them look like nut-jobs to any interested ones, who must think the whole celebration centres around some kind of masonic ritual. At best, it's eccentric behavior - at worst, it's a tragic (and very public) dance of the confused and bewildered.
Well, the Memorial of Christ's Death does involve a ritual, for sure, and it may resemble a Masonic ritual, but to Jehovah's Witnesses, the Memorial is a spiritual event that originates with the Bible as interpreted by Jehovah's Witnesses, and even if it should resemble 'a very public dance of the confused and bewildered,' to us it is a very important ritual that we feel we must observe every year.
Anyway, I would be curious to know whether any others out there witnessed such bizarre and frankly ludicrous behavior? One also wonders why the Society doesn't state more clearly in its directions to elders that simply handling the emblems at all is sufficient?
But simply handling the emblems would not be sufficient, @cedars. In Las Vegas, it might be said that there are couples that go there to be ritualistically married, because they definitely cannot afford a wedding planner, but the expense associated with a wedding (the wedding dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the tuxedo, the cake, limousine, floral arrangements, photographer, cobbling together the guest list, hotel reservations for out-of-town guests, invitations, hair and makeup, the reception, the dj or the band, security) must be considered, things that cannot be simply handled, even if you think the ritual associate with getting married is more understandable than the ritual associated with the presentation of the emblem at the Memorial of Christ's Death. I don't really want to get into the weeds of all of this, but here's another example:
The ritual of a funeral service handled by an elder for one of Jehovah's Witnesses is quite different than the memorial for the deceased that follows, for grief-stricken family members, especially those that are not Jehovah's Witnesses, may want to be able to express their grief in ways not permitted at the Kingdom Hall, and it's also quite possible that the bereaved relatives, who may be accustomed to the way such rituals are handled in Christendom, may want a very different atmosphere than the reverential one found at the Kingdom Hall.
You may want a horse and carriage at your son's wedding or at your favorite uncle's funeral, so you may pay for the inclusion of such things in the ritual, but you don't have to approve the ritual we call the "Memorial of Christ's Death" so whatever you might think of our ritual, @cedars, would just be hubris on your part: You don't pay any of the costs associated with any of what takes place on this evening, for you are merely an invitee, ok?
I remember that those who passed the emblems had to arrive earlier so they could rehearse the process passing the wine and the bread to each other....so after having passed the emblems to the audience, the wine glasses and dishes were placed back on the table set on the platform, then the speaker would pick up the emblem and hand it off to the first server sitting in the front row, then he would rush to the end of the row and sit waiting to receive the emblem...
This sounds about right. The attendant-servers could also return each of the emblems to the table, so that the last attendant-server to do so would instead hand-off the bread and the wine, in turn, to the speaker -- note this is a hand-off, not a passing of it to the speaker -- and then take his seat in the first vacant seat to the left of the seated attendant-servers as the speaker comes down from the podium to serve the last-seated attendant server while the speaker purposefully takes his seat in the first vacant seat to the right of the seat attendant-servers as he waits to be passed, in turn, each of the emblems. Now that the speaker has been served, he may return each of the emblems to the table and continue the program.
Like in NFL football, a poor hand-off resulted in confusion and a failed play to the amusement of some of us...
Mistakes can and do happen, but the hope is that all goes well without incident.
Yeah, it's become an empty ritual.
The Memorial of Christ's Death may be an empty ritual to you, but it isn't so empty to millions of the people that attend each year. The Memorial is a solemn occasion, and a sacred affair to Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. However, by our observance of this ritual each year, Jehovah's Witnesses not only give honor to the one through whom our salvation comes, but we also demonstrate our gratitude to the one that provided a ransom for forgiveness of our sins and acknowledge that the righteousness imputed to us is because God loved us first and sent his son that we might put our faith in his name. Let me rephrase:
Every year that Jehovah's Witnesses observe this ritual, we honor the one through whom our salvation comes, we demonstrate our gratitude to Jesus, who provided a ransom for the forgiveness of our sins, and we acknowledge that our imputed righteousness is due to God having sent Jesus to give his soul as a ransom for our sake that we might exercise faith in his name.
Yeah its a pretty funny scene. Most of the time I remember them handing it to the speaker after everyone else was done, so the audience has nothing else to do but stare at what is going on up on stage. In theory, it would make sense for the partakers to have their own row up front and just pass it through them. Of course there would be quite a [murmur] from the audience [every time] someone new sat down front in the "partaker" row.
What "theory" is this that involves gawking or do you tend to think of the Memorial of Christ's Death as you would any spectator sport, like boxing or tennis or golf? If the artist, Prince Nelson, that is now known again as "Prince," should be among the attendees at a Kingdom Hall where the Memorial is being hosted, how many gawkers would you imagine there to be by people hoping to get a glimpse of Prince passing the emblems on to the person seated next to him?
Maybe a special chair behind a partition of some sort should be designated away from the other attendees where the gawkers could be avoided altogether with one attendant-server designated to pass each of the emblems, in turn, to him. Of course, the eyes of the gawkers would then be on the attendant-server's walking over to and returning from that partitioned-off area of the room, which would be a variation of your, er, theory.
I couldn't for the life of me though figure out, @LostGeneration, why it was you thought giving the partakers "their own row up front" would make sense. Wouldn't give some of the observers their own row make sense, too?
My wife mentioned the Memorial for the first time today...but she did not dare to ask if I was going....I acted surprised and told her that the Jewish passover was tomorrow...so my son said "well the days started after sundown...", so I replied that I meant Friday after sundown...I should know since I there is a Jewish girl at work who [strictly] observes jewish celebrations...So I told my wife that Jesus would have ate passover tomorrow night and not tonight...Her reply was "well Memorial is tonight!"
Have you ever celebrated your birthday on a different day other than the actual anniversary date of your birth? Those born on February 29 do this kind of thing a lot. Even if this "Jewish girl at work" told you that she observes the Passover on a day different than when Jehovah's Witnesses observe the Memorial of Christ's Death, the point you might be missing is that Jehovah's Witnesses do not observe the Passover; we never have. We recognize the Passover as being the day on which the first full moon after the spring equinox becomes visible in Jerusalem.
No matter when this "Jewish girl at work" observes the Passover, we observe the Memorial of Christ's Death on the same day that corresponds to "the fourteenth day" of Nisan in 2248 AM on the Hebrew calendar, and "between the two evenings" that the sons of Israel slaughtered and ate the flesh of the passover lamb "on this night ... with unfermented cakes along with bitter greens," when "at midnight" the destroyer struck down every firstborn of man and beast in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:6-8, 29; Leviticus 23:5)
The passover reminded the sons of Israel of the release they obtained from the Egyptian bondage in which they had been held fast, but the Memorial of Christ's Death reminds Jehovah's Witnesses of the deliverance they obtained from enslavement to sin and death through the sin-atoning power of Christ's ransom and of the benefits that flow to those of the "other sheep" from the New Covenant instituted by Jesus between the "little flock" and God.
This "Jewish girl at work" observes the Passover on the day that she and those in her religion do so according to Jewish tradition, Nisan 15; Jehovah's Witnesses observe the Memorial of Christ's Death on the day indicated in the Bible, Nisan 14.
[In] our old hall they would keep 4 seats at the front clear for the memorial-takers and after the rest of the hall had observed, they would sit there and the brother giving the talk would hand them the plate/wine for it to move along the four of them. [¶] Very silly.
Why do you think having four known partakers sit together on the front row to have been silly? What if you were to realize since the last time you observed the Memorial of Christ's Death that God's spirit had borne witness with your spirit that you have been foreordained to the adoption as a son of God, but you wanted to sit with other family members and with those with whom you study the Bible? Why would it be necessary for you to sit with the other partakers in the front row when the emblems are going to be passed to everyone in the hall, whether they be partakers or observers?
There are no rules for where a partake can sit; he or she may sit where he or she chooses to sit, even if you think their sitting together on the front row to be silly.
Yet another stupidity - pass it to everyone, yes EVERYONE, so that NOBODY will take them and thus they can prove there are no true christians in the kingdom hall.
So you think a willingness on the part of some to participate in a ritual to be proof that someone is a true Christian? If this be so, then an atheist that is willing to eat the bread and drink the wine at the Memorial of Christ's Death is really a Christian?
A truly weird custom built without the slightest hint of such a thing from the new testament.
Right. The Memorial of Christ's Death is based on the passover that occurred back on Nisan 14, 2248 AM, and on what Jesus did after the seder on Nisan 14, 3793 AM. I suspect that you are like many of Jehovah's Witnesses today that are tied to the Bible study aids published by the Society and do not know the scriptures on which the things we teach originate. Other than for congregational study and preparation for Bible studies, I have no need for the Society's publications, for the literature we use are crutches for many that do you really wish to turn to any page in the Bible to know for themselves or be reminded what a particular scripture says, but are just willing to take our word for what we claim the Bible says.
It is my opinion that anyone that has been one of Jehovah's Witnesses for three years or longer that is still tied to using the Reasoning book, for example, they are merely going through the motions and are probably not really a Christian. None of the early Christians had Reasoning books. If you cannot explain what things you teach scripturally -- like why we believe the earth will be transformed into a paradise, or why God has permitted wickedness, or when it doesn't constitute adultery if a woman should remarry while her former spouse is still living, or what the kingdom of God is, or why we observe the Memorial of Christ's Death etc. -- it's likely that you are probably not a Christian and probably were never a Christian.
But the bread was already broken and the wine had a hair in it...
Really? Have you ever seen a fly (or some other critter!) floating in your soup, whether you were at home or at a restaurant? Flies are a fact of life and so is hair. If the bread was already broken, then someone broke it. What's the big deal?
In the Catholic Church we called the emblems communion hosts. Catholics are offered "holy communion" at every mass throughout the year (and mass is said every day of the year). I understand why JWs wouldn't refer to it the same way; [after all], how can you be in communion with God if you don't partake of the host?
Thank you, Poppers - I was hoping somebody with Catholic knowledge would answer this.
Now - does anybody else know of ANY christian religion that uses the word "emblems"?
As far as I know - it is not even in the JW bible...
The words, "smoking," "oranges," "homosexuality" and "grandfather," as well as the phrase "holy communion," aren't found in the Bible either, so what difference does it make that Jehovah's Witnesses use the word "emblems" in connection with the Memorial of Christ's Death today?
@breakfast of champions:
Yeah, that moment of emblem-passing stupidity is something I never got. My wife has even commented about how ritualistic it looks. . . Well. . . That's because its a ritual!
That is is ("a ritual")!
I had always attended the memorial where there were partakers. The first time I went where there was no-one who partook for me to observe was weird and felt silly and wrong.
Why would that be? If you wanted to gawk, you could have visited another congregation where there known to be partakers. There is no requirement that you attend the Memorial of Christ's Death with a specific congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe you knew this, but it was silly for you to have attended a Memorial if your sole reason for attending was so that you might observe partakers partaking, or drummers drumming, or pipers piping if you wanted to attend a Memorial where partakers partook.
I seem to remember there was a letter at some point on how to do the memorial dance.
This is the instruction:
Congregation elders will want to be sure that all arrangements for the Memorial have been carefully made well in advance. Be sure to select well-qualified brothers to pass the emblems. These brothers should be elders or ministerial servants, if available. Have a sufficient number of brothers prepared to do this so that the passing of the emblems will not be prolonged unnecessarily. After the servers have served those in the audience, the servers will sit down in the front row and the speaker will serve them. Finally, one of them will serve the speaker.
The procedure described is mandated by the Society. Like you said, it is distressingly ritualistic. To what extent each congregation follows the ritual might depend on the COBOE or brother giving the talk.
Yes, as I stated earlier, it is a ritual.
I used to give the talk every other year and this ritual passing used to bother me very much. It wasn't enough that the speaker gave the emblems to each attendant. He had to sit down afterwards and be handed them by one of the attendants.
Why didn't you just leave and just go home when you saw this ritualistic passing of the emblems taking place? Are you telling me here that you didn't know that this kind of thing would be going on as you were presiding over the Memorial of Christ's Death where you delivered the talk? Someone else with a copy of the outline could have delivered the talk. It didn't have to be you if this bothered you so much.
Rant starts here: Its not enough to just come and "observe" like the Society says. Its as if the Society is adamant that you accept their superiority by your physically refusing the emblems (knowing that they do partake).
But this sounds right tome: Regarding John the Baptist, Jesus stated at Matthew 11:11 that "a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is." In this regard, I would substitute the word "superior" for "greater" or "better," since these firstfruits to God "in the kingdom of the heavens" will be given immortality, which no human being has ever been promised (maybe you knew this already) and are thus superior to the "other sheep," greater and with better promises than that given to the rest of redeemed mankind.
It is also dishonest to the outsiders who accept the invite to attend. They are invited to observe and then find themselves having to make a choice. Imagine going to some other function 'just to see what is going on,' and then finding yourself being somewhat forced to participate.
How is anyone forced to participate? Did you not know that the attendant-servers are there to ensure that the emblems are passed from one person to another, so that if anyone should not wish to participate the emblems can be moved past that person to the next person? You claimed to have presided over a Memorial and yet I'm hearing you say that it is as if those invited to observe and not participate are "somewhat forced to participate." This is just nonsense.
I could see how this might bother someone who thought partaking was the norm and then finding themselves having to decide what to do with everyone else turning down the emblems and the speaker encouraging the same.
Wait a second. Now what you seem to be saying is that the problem with the passing of the Memorial emblems that those invited to observe and not participate are forced not to partake. Wouldn't partaking be participating? And what if someone invited to observe should partake? What wrong with that? This kind of thing happens all of the time and everyone that partakes is counted each year.
If a person invited to observe should have realized from what was said by the speaker that he or she should only partake if God's spirit had borne witness with their spirit that they were adopted as his children, then he or she may choose not to partake, but if he or she does partake, so what?
I figured out a few years ago that all Christians were to partake. I was intending to go to a different congregation but the other elders volunteered me to give the talk. I could 'feel' every eye on me as I was the last to be handed the emblems. I told the brother who was going to hand them to me just before the meeting so he wouldn't have a stroke.
Then if you didn't feel you had eaten or drank unworthily, then no one -- no human -- could judge you for partaking.
The real shame of it all is the Society's 'published' view that many who partake are 'mentally unstable' or 'influenced by past beliefs.' But they won't say the real reason the number is going up. People are figuring out that they are lying about who should partake.
It doesn't matter what the Society may have published with regard to such persons. People do things for many reasons that are unbeknownst to us. No one that happens to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses and understands the significance of the Memorial of Christ's Death would accuse those that taught them what we believe as "lying about who should partake." Jehovah's Witnesses know from our study of the Bible who should and will partake. We wouldn't lie to anyone. If anyone should have 'figured out" anything differently than this, the congregations of God have no other custom.
Here is another way you can see that the WT doesn't see things correctly: In the Bible, the reason for partaking is to 'remember Jesus,' to 'keep proclaiming the death of the Lord.' In the Kingdom Hall if you partake, the immediate and only response is: 'So you think you are going to heaven.'
If this should be your "immediate and only response" to someone that partakes, then you're not a spiritual person, but, rather, a fleshly person, not really comprehending much of anything about the Memorial. As I stated above, by our observance of the Memorial of Christ's Death each year, Jehovah's Witnesses give honor to the one through whom our salvation comes and demonstrate our gratitude to the one that provided a ransom for forgiveness of our sins in whose name we put our faith. Those that partake feel the same as the observers, for they, too, owe their salvation to God and Christ, except they feel a special kinship to God as sons, having been called to be heirs of the kingdom of God with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The last memorial I attended was packed. Standing room only. Well for whatever reason, we got passed over, the passing of the emblems. My wife looked lost, but out loud, I said, "it's symbolic. We're here so it's fine, it's not like someone is going to live or die touching the glass as if it's the ark of the covenant. Well one of the elders heard, and he ran over and had us pass them. Even my wife smiled at that one
I would also have smiled (you were right).
@St George of England:
I cannot remember when this stupid emblem ritual began but it has been in for a few years now. At our KH the bro giving the talk didn't sit down to receive the emblems. One of the attendants handed him the bread & wine which he handed straight back to the attendant to return to the table. It didn't seem to occur to them that the speaker had already picked up the emblems at the start of the routine and handed the plates and glasses to each of the attendants to take to the audience.
Meaning what? They the speaker had already been served just because he picked up the emblems at the start of the ritual? Should you ever find yourself handing out cold beverages (i.e, beer, sodas) to others on a hot summer day, even if you felt thirsty, would you feel less parched knowing that you had already been served? Would you feel no need to serve yourself by drinking one of these cold beverages with which you had served others?
Even that is a dishonest use of statistics. The 19 million+ is everyone that came. The tiny number of partakers is only the ones they chose to count among those that partook.
We count all partakers, including the ones that maybe should not have partaken.
The last Memorial I went to was when I really observed how ridiculous the whole ritual is. "I touched it when I was passing it, but it doesn't count as touching it because an elder or attendant didn't pass it to ME, so I have to sit down with the other attendants and elders and the speaker and we'll pass it between ourselves..."
Then this is the kicker... The speaker went back up to the stage, the attendant who had passed the "emblems" to the other attendants and the speaker brought the wine/bread back up to the stage, put it down, and stood there at the table while the speaker picked it up again, handed it to him, he handed it back, the speaker put it down, and went back to the podium. [¶] Talk about washing up to the elbow...
What is it about this story of yours that strikes you as a "kicker"? The speakers and the attendant-servers are human beings like you, that make mistakes just like you do, but they do the best they can with what have, like (maybe) you do.
1) do they have a biblical reference that says it should be done only once a year? (no)
(yes) Exodus 12:6 says that on "the fourteenth day of [the first] month [(Nisan)], ... the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel must slaughter [the passover victim] between the two evenings." At 1 Corinthians 5:7, we note that Jesus is there referred to as "our passover," and 1 Corinthians 11:26 states that Christians should observe this remembrance "for as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup ... until [Jesus] arrives," which means that Christians observe the Memorial of Christ's Death on Nisan 14 once a year since Passover only occurs once a year.
2) do they have a biblical shred of evidence that only some mysterious "upper elite" should partake? (no)
(yes) At Luke 12:32, Jesus tells his apostles that the father had approved of giving this "little flock" the kingdom, and at Luke 22:20, Jesus indicates that the cup symbolizes the new covenant and Luke 22:29 indicates that the new covenant was made with those that are a part of the new covenant with Jesus.
3) do they even practice it on the actual day of the old Jewish passover? (no)
(yes) Leviticus 23:5 indicates that Nisan 14 was the day when the passover was observed.
4) have they called anyone who actually partakes of the "emblems" mentally ill? (yes)
(no) Not specifically, but some that may have partaken of the emblems in the past might have been mentally disturbed when doing so, but this is just an opinion.. So what?
5) does the "Governing Body" still partake anyway? (well, answer this for your own self).
I'll answer it anyway: Yes, they do partake because they are members of the new covenant that have the prospect of heavenly life.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on this. It's good to know that I'm by no means alone in thinking that the way the speaker deals with the emblems is obscenely ritualistic.
How so? Funeral and wedding ceremonies, even commencement exercises (say, at a high school) are ritualistic also, so why make such a big deal about a religious ritual that Jehovah's Witnesses host every year? If you do not wish to participate in it, then you should have told @Mrscedars, "No." I don't see anything obscene about this ritual.
I think we've all pretty much agreed that touching the glass alone would be sufficient if the memorial, as observed by JWs, was a scripturally relevant ceremony - which it clearly isn't.
I don't agree with this conclusion. Touching the glass (containing the wine) doesn't constitute serving it to anyone.
It is also, as some have suggested, a twisted way in which the Governing Body subliminally reminds the rank and file of the reasons why they are superior, and have a privileged relationship with Christ.
Yeah, that must be it.
Did I miss anything? Are there any other reasons for the memorial?
I don't believe you will do so, so, yes, you didn't read the entire reply that I posted here where I provide reasons for our observing the Memorial of Christ's Death.
I hadn't realised that this year's celebration didn't even coincide with the Jewish passover. That is very interesting indeed.
Sure, it does.
One year, I was one of the dorks assigned to pass the emblems. That year some jackass filed the glasses to the rim with wine. That made things interesting and messy.
This was a mistake, but, let's face it: Humans make mistakes.
We never made a big deal out of it, but the "servers" quickly decided who would offer the emblems to the speaker and then who would offer them to the "servers." Typically, the speaker would offer the emblems to the servers last after they all sat back down in the front row. So it did look silly and seemed to elevate the importance of being "served" despite the fact you've handled the emblems already.
What would be the "big deal" that you believe could be made out of an agreement that the speaker should serve the emblems to the servers?
I remember one year that we forgot to discuss it and different ones went to "serve" the speaker and nobody at first "served" the "servers" so one of the "servers" returned to the stage and "served" the "servers" and ran to the other end so that he could "pass" the emblem after rejecting it.
People do not always get things correctly.
I agree with Bobcat and John Chapter 6 that just as all in the wilderness with Moses ate the Manna, (else they died of starvation, Hebrews and Egyptians, not just thePriests), the "bread from Heaven" and his blood, have to be eaten by all Christians.
What's the nexus between what happened in the wilderness when the sons of Israel were eating manna and the bread from heaven and his blood that gives you to understand that the emblems must be partaken by "all Christians"?
Now even if the JWs [were] correct that the emblems are only for a select few, why this ritual of passing it around and the [embarrassment] of an "[anointed]" who then has to partake in front of everybody, " hey everybody, look at me!, [I am almost] a god!"
Because Jesus commanded a "remembrance" of the occasion of his death. If anyone should think as you suggest here, that those that partake are telling others that they are 'almost Gods,' then that person would have another think coming since this is not what they are saying when they partake. They are acknowledging, among other things, that they are members of the new covenant, God's temple class, with the prospect of heavenly life.
Why cannot they have the memorial for those its intended for, to be taken in a [faithful] and discreet way?
For whom exactly is it your belief the Memorial of Christ's Death to be, if not for all Christians?