Not sure if this bothered other people, but it absolutely drove me CRAZY!!!!
OK, typical annual Memorial. The emblems are being passed around. The number one thing on people's minds at that moment is "Oh dear gawd, please don't let me or my child be the one to spill anything!" The number two thing on people's mind is "I wonder what bat-shit crazy person is here tonight that is going to partake? Is it Brother Never Attends? Could it be Sister Crazy Cat Lady? Maybe it will be young elder, Brother My Poo Don't Stink?"
So, the emblems get passed all around to those seated. Then the teams of brothers doing the passing go to the ones standing in the back of the hall or in the lobby or wherever. This is when my frustration begins........... They insist on having each and every human being in the hall touch and hold the plate or wine glass. Not just have the opportunity to reach out and take the emblem if they are so moved. No, THEY HAVE TO ALL HOLD IT MOMENTARILY!!! As if the momentary touching and holding of the plate or wine glass is somehow a "Holy" experience. The 4 year old kid with ADHD gets to hold it. The 90 year old sister with Parkinson's get to hold it (barely). The father standing in back with the wriggling and writhing bronco toddler has to hold it. The middle-aged sister with enough pharmaceuticals pumping through her system to kill a race horse gets to hold it. EVERYBODY HAS TO HOLD THE EMBLEMS!!!! Making the entire procession longer than it needs to be and for no other reason than pomp and circumstance. Surely, anyone who was actually already decided that they were to partake would have made sure they got the *opportunity* to partake, which is all the Memorial emblems practice is supposed to be, an *opportunity* for the select extremely few.
But then......... if you thought the whole procession could not get anymore weird and ridiculous........ they take it to an all new level of WEIRDNESS!!!!! Yes, the very same brothers that spent the last 10 minutes passing out the emblems to a few hundred people must then go sit down in their reserved chairs in the front row of the hall and some other brother stands up and offers THEM the emblems to clutch and hold and fondle for absolutely no reason (like some sort of bizarre reverse Musical Chairs game). As if the only way that one who is moved to partake is if they are in a sitting position (or standing in the back because the joint is dangerously overfilled with people who are only there to please their mothers) and having someone else hand them the emblem.
And for the grand finale of weirdness, the brother standing on stage having given the Memorial talk and is mere inches away from the table with the emblems sitting on it must then have one of the brothers come up on stage and ceremoniously hand the emblems to the brother, he holds for two beats (looking down at the emblem with a fake serious look on his face as if he is considering it) and then hands it back to the other brother who then sets the emblems back down on the table immediately adjacent to the podium.
To me this entire charade is as if the JW's, who claim to be no part of Christendom and religiosity, decided that one night per year we can all be Catholic with the silly procedures, the pious ceremony, the phony traditions. The only thing we are missing is the funny hats and the pot belching out smoke. The whole thing has made me nauseous since I was old enough to understand what the hell was going on.
Instead of focusing (I put that in for you, Focus) on spending time grasping the emotions of Jesus and the sacrifice and all the momentous things that surrounded this that makes the Memorial important to us........... they turned it into a religious ceremony. Not only that but at this year's Memorial, the talk was basically devoid of ANY reference to Jesus at all. All we heard was about Jehovah and "the organization", the "kingdom". Nothing about Jesus.
Phony, Fake. Charade. Fraud. Joke.