We decided to go to the memorial on Saturday, here in Palm Beach County where we live. It was at 9:00 EST.
When we arrived the KH was almost full. People were congregating like it was a party and taking pics. I do not remember that type of atmosphere happening years ago. When we were young it was a very solemn, respectful occasion to the point where it was very quiet in the KH. Obviously that has changed.
Anyway, fast forward to the memorial talk, which was quite boring and uneventful. It was not like when we lived up north, in Queens, NY. You always anticpated a talk by a bethel bro and most of the memorial talks were enlightening and kept you awake. My husband and I critiqued the brother who gave the talk. His body language embodied the typical 'I am the PO elder" aura and he acted very standoffish and snobbish. His wife walked around the KH before the talk with the auro that "I am an PO elder's wife".
Nowhere in the talk was it mentioned about the new information that anyone can partake if they deemed themselves of the anointed. The talk outline stuck to the old adage of the anointed being chosen by God and those were the ones to partake. But now we come to the crazy part of this memorial service:
The brother who gave the prayer before the passing of the bread literally gave a 5 minute prayer talk.....I am not joking. The prayer was so long I started squirming. When it came time to pass around the bread or matza, I and my husband had to make sure we did not laugh out loud. You would not believe how horrible the bread looked. It seemed as if they had taken the bread out of storage. It was gray, broken up in pieces and even had crumbs on the plate. It was embarassing. We could not believe that with visitors, the cong would present, to the public, on such an occassion, bread representing Christ's body that looked so bad. After calling my mom, she said that in the South, sometimes the congs used homemade matza bread at the memorial celebrations. My husband, who is from the Carribean, said that when he was younger, the congs also used homemade matza bread for the memorial celebrations because his own mother baked for the memorial- but it looked much better.
Then, when another brother was praying before passing the wine, he kept referring in his prayer that the wine represented Christ's body. I kept cringing everytime he said that in prayer. My husband said because the brother was elderly he made those mistakes. Regardless of that, I feel on such a solemn occasion when you have new visitors, you should not make such a mistake when praying.
Anyway, that was our memoral celebration experience for 2008.