When should the Memorial be observed?
The answer becomes clear when we remember that Jesus chose a particular date to institute this celebration—the Passover. God’s people had annually been observing that date, Nisan 14 on their calendar, for over 1,500 years in order to commemorate a remarkable salvation that Jehovah performed for his people. Clearly,Jesus was directing his followers to use the same date to commemorate the far greater act of salvation that God would make possible through the death of Christ. Jesus’ true followers thus attend the Lord’s Evening Meal every year on the date corresponding to Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar.
The Purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal
Jesus concluded the first observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal with these words: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) The observance does indeed help us to remember Jesus and the wonderful things accomplished by his death. It reminds us that Jesus upheld the sovereignty of his Father, Jehovah. It also reminds us that by means of his death as a perfect, sinless human, Jesus gave “his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” The ransom makes it possible for any who would exercise faith in his sacrifice to be freed from sin and to attain to everlasting life.—Matthew 20:28.
The ceremony is also called the Lord’s Supper, the breaking of the bread, the Eucharistic assembly, the Holy Sacrifice, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, Communion, and Holy Mass. The word “Eucharist” is derived from the Greek eu·kha·ri·sti´a, which means gratitude, thankfulness, or thanksgiving.