chapter  9
28 Pages

Worship and Rites of Passage

Most academic accounts of religions include how their followers worship, how they treat rites of passage, and how they celebrate events in their festival year. It is therefore surprising that most books on the Jehovah’s Witnesses mention festivals and rituals that are avoided: Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Halloween, and their refusal to take part in events that involve saluting ags or singing national anthems. Such portrayals of the Watch Tower organisation are problematic for a variety of reasons. ey are negative, and thus ignore key events that are of importance to Witnesses, such as their distinctive Kingdom Hall meetings, their assemblies and conventions, baptism, the annual Memorial celebration, and their treatment of rites of passage such as marriage and death.