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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Generally Meet on Sundays?

Before addressing why the Public Meeting and Watchtower Studies are often held on Sundays, let's first address why Sunday came to be the principal day of worship for much of Christendom and then contrast this with Jehovah's Witnesses' pattern of worship. 

How did Sunday come to be the principal day of worship for much of Christendom?

Nowhere does the Bible say that Christian meetings were to be held on Sunday or any other particular day of the week. So, then, why do many professed Christians observe Sunday as a holy day? The custom of worshipping on Sunday arose after the Bible was completed and a variety of beliefs and traditions not based on the Bible had begun to appear:

“The retention of the old Pagan name of ‘Dies Solis,’ or ‘Sunday,’ for the weekly Christian festival, is, in great measure, owing to the union of Pagan and [so-called] Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine [in an edict in 321 C.E.] to his subjects, Pagan and Christian alike, as the ‘venerable day of the Sun.’ . . . It was his mode of harmonizing the discordant religions of the Empire under one common institution.”—Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church (New York, 1871), A. P. Stanley, p. 291. - rs p. 345-p. 352

So Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Generally Meet on Sundays?

In all matters of worship, Jehovah’s Witnesses, like the first-century Christians, strive to follow the Bible rather than tradition. The entire pattern for true worship is laid out in detail in the Bible. (Romans 3:4; Colossians 2:8)

So what does the Bible tell us about how first-century Christians worshipped? They regularly met together to pray, read scriptures, listen to talks, and sing songs praising God. (Acts 12:12; Colossians 3:16) At such meetings, Christians received instruction, strengthened their faith, and gave mutual encouragement to one another.—Hebrews 10:24, 25.

Around the world, Jehovah’s Witnesses closely follow the pattern of worship practiced by Jesus’ early followers. Witnesses don't devote just one day, but enjoy a weekly program of Bible instruction. The days on which their meetings are held are determined by local circumstances, not by unscriptural traditions. We worship on Sunday in many countries mainly because it is the most convenient day in that most people have that day off from work.

Recommended Related Article:

The Bible’s Viewpoint: A Weekly Holy Day—Is It Required? (g 9/11 pp. 10-11; Watchtower Online Library)