slimboyfat: Which makes me wonder actually. Are people listening on the phone counted as attending the memorial these days I wonder?
I understand that the underlying key principle is: If the person is listening or viewing the congregation meeting LIVE, as it happens, either 'in-person' or via an 'audio link', then they are counted as meeting attendees. BUT if they listen or watch a recording of the meeting at a later time then they are NOT counted.
The audio link may also include video and may be provided by hard-wiring, the telephone, the radio, or by the internet. The important principle is that they must be listening to the congregation meeting LIVE - this therefore has provided a strong incentive for congregations to introduce telephone/internet links in order to 'increase' the meeting 'attendance' (!)
Of course the congregation themselves may be listening to a recording (ie the 2018 Special Talk video) - but those listening in via an audio link would be counted as congregation meeting attendees provided they listen to the same recording live along with their congregation and using the congregation's own 'tie-in' facility.
If a person 'time-shifts' the meeting by listening to a recording at another time, then they are NOT counted. Some congregation (used to?) record the meetings (on a tape or something?) and give them afterwards those unable to attend (such as the elderly or the ill) so they could be listened to later - none of these people would be included in the meeting attendance figure/s.
There are a number of bespoke KH 'live listening' solutions available and they generally allow you to input the number of people listening on a particular device or telephone (ie, if there was a husband and wife together, they could listen using one device, but input the figure '2', so that the congregation could have an 'accurate' count.)
For the Memorial the same principles apply. I understand that the 'exception' would be with partakers.
If a partaker was unable to attend the congregation's Memorial, AND was unable to listen live, they would NOT be counted as an attendee. BUT the elders would visit the same evening, after sundown, have a brief scriptural discussion and allow them to partake of the emblems - they would then be counted as a Memorial partaker for that congregation (but NOT as a Memorial attendee).I would expect this to be a fairly rare occurrence effecting only a few, and some elder bodies may decide to 'fudge' it and include them as attendees anyway as they counted as partaking - I don't think this is a big issue considering the presumably very low numbers involved.
(TBH, with the increase in the use of telephone link-ins, I would expect a publisher / elder to sit with the (ill?) partaker at their home and help them to be able to listen LIVE to the Memorial together (and therefore be counted as attendees) and then either have their own emblems for the partaker to use at the same time as the congregation, or for the elders to visit with the emblems afterwards.)