Jehovah`s Witness/sanctity/priority of worship
I have a question about JW worship practice. I understand that Saturday and Sunday are typically for preaching, bible study, studying watch tower and going into the community to spread the word. I understand that during the week there are other opportunities and that it may relate to training for public speaking in furtherance of spreading the word.
Is there a priority of participation? e.g. is Weekend service akin to going to conventional church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday?
Are there different levels of sanctity associated with the various activities? Study more sanctified than learning public speaking?
Thank you for your time and sharing your expertise.
Thank you for writing and for those interesting questions. I have never been asked anything like that before.
Actually we view everyday the same. No day has any special significance over another. We have arrangements each day of the week for those whose circumstances allow them, to engage in spreading the word. The extra activity on the weekends is, because that is when the majority of people can participate. Different congregations will hold their weekend meetings at different times depending on the circumstances of the area.
For example until about 6 months ago the congregation using our hall. Our weekend meeting was held on Sunday Morning. In the afternoon some would participate in the door to door activity, Saturday morning was when the majority would participant in that activity. Our midweek meeting was on Wednesday evening.
We now have three congregations using our hall for meetings. One held their meeting on Saturday afternoon and Sunday is the day most engage in the door to door activity, and they continue to do so now that they share with us. We still have ours on Sunday morning, and the third congregation holds their meeting Sunday afternoon.
We also have a meeting on one evening during the week. So the hall gets used on three evenings during the week. Our midweek meeting is now on Thursday evening. In some places where more that one congregation share a hall, every year they might rotate their meeting times if that is what the congregations decide to do.
“is Weekend service akin to going to conventional church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday?
I really do not know as I have never attended a church service. From what I do know, mainly from what is portrayed on TV, that different forms of religions may have a “ceremonial” type service, and some church services seem to be just a sermon. But, I guess, that the object of those services is that is the way those particular religions are educating their flocks about their Gods. The goal of our meetings is to both educate, and, remind us of what we understand as Gods purposes for mankind and his requirements for us.
Our weekend meeting has two parts. First there is a talk (or sermon or lecture) on a particular Bible topic, usually prepared with the general public in mind. That is followed by a Bible study where every one can participate. The basses of the study is the Bible but a particular lesson around a subject is found in the Watchtower publication. We all have the watchtower so each person pre-studies this material so that they can, if they want to, participate in a question and answer type lesson. By everyone being able to participate we learn from each other and can be encouraged by what others have to say and have found when they prepared the material
The mid week meting is in several parts. And yes this meeting has an elements in it to help us in public speaking and in talking to strangers about Gods Kingdom and purposes. As from January this year the whole format of that meeting as changed.
Is there a priority of participation?
I assume you are asking is one meeting more important than the other? If that is what you are asking, then, no. Both the midweek and weekend meetings are as important as each other. We understand the principle of this text to apply to our meetings “ 23 Let us hold firmly the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for the one who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 (NWT)
There are two things in that text we see as important. In verse 23 we are counselled to “hold firmly to public declaration”. By participation when we can or are able we are making a public declaration of our faith. The other two verses tell us that by associating together we can be encouraging and up-building each each other. We view our meetings as of great importance. If we are unable to attend our meetings because of, say, sickness, we can use the phone and phone into a special number and join a “conference call” and hear our meetings
Are there different levels of sanctity associated with the various activities?
May I please quote another text. This text does not directly answer the question but it does have a principle in it that applies. It is at 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory
” It is that last part that I am referring to. We view all the activities associated with our worship as being of equal importance and our aim or desire is to do so in a way that brings glory to God.
You can read about, or listen to some information about our meetings at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/meetings/
If you would like to see what the Wtachtower matterial looks like for this weekend that all congregations around the earth in over 200 countries will be considering, you will find it here
If you would like to see what every congregation is considering during the week this week you will find it here https://www.jw.org/en/publications/jw-meeting-workbook/april-2016-mwb/meeting-schedule-apr18-24/
I hope I have been of some help for you.
If you have any more questions please feel free to write