Beliefnet
Year of Sundays

Flanked by the JW mafia, that's me on my baptism day, July 10, 1983.

When Amanda and I began our Year of Sundays project, it was inevitable that one day we would visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses, my old religion. Inevitable, that is, in the way jail time inevitably follows sentencing.

Seven years, 415 therapy sessions and one major loss of faith later, that dreaded day has come. To describe me as anxious doesn’t quite capture the sensation that a chorus line of 1000 drunken cockroaches has taken up residence in my lower intestine. Perhaps a snort of liquid courage before entering the Kingdom Hall would be in order.

And so, tonight we’ll be attending just about the only celebration the Witnesses allow their members to have: Jesus’ funeral. Boo-yeah! That’s how JWs roll!

Let’s just say I didn’t leave the religion because I was having too much fun.

Officially known as the Annual Memorial of Christ’s Death, each year millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world gather after sundown to pass around plates of unleavened bread and wine and congratulate themselves on being the one and only true religion. Only a tiny fraction of attendees, however, actually partake of those emblems of Jesus flesh and blood. I will be one of them.

Maybe I should bring along a dish of sour cream and salsa as well.

Come back in a couple of days and we’ll tell you all about it.

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