“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18–20 (NIV)
Presbyterians have two sacraments.
The Presbyterian Church does not have many ceremonies and rituals. This is because we do not want to distract from the two most important ceremonies Christ left to the church, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe these are the only two ceremonies, which we call sacraments, which Christ instituted for the church throughout the ages.
The sacraments are visible and tangible ways of experiencing God’s grace and goodness. They are “signs” of God’s gracious promise and “seals” of God’s life-giving Word. The sacraments not only show us who God is and what God has done for us; they also provide us a way to respond to God’s grace and goodness.
Baptism is administered only once as a sign of our forgiveness from sin and our entrance into the family of God. We administer baptism to infants and children in anticipation of their faith and with the promise of parents to raise them in the “training and instruction of the Lord.” We administer the Sacrament of Baptism to adults upon their public profession of faith. All baptisms are joyfully celebrated within the context of Sunday worship.
The sacraments are intimately connected. In Baptism, we are welcomed, and in the Lord’s Supper, we are sustained as members of the Body of Christ:
Those who have been washed in the waters of baptism and fed at the table of the Lord know that the world continues to bear the marks of sin and brokenness. Washed and fed, we give witness to the redemptive love of God in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is the church’s mission to share with a broken world the good news of God’s saving grace. The sacraments do not turn us away from the needs of others in complacent satisfaction; they lead us back into the world with a greater hunger for righteousness. When Christians join the struggle for justice, for a world where all have enough to eat and all are honored and live in peace, they cry, “How long, O Lord?” More often than not, such communities testify that God may not come when we want, but God gets there on time.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is repeated often in the Presbyterian Church. Our congregation celebrates it on the first Sunday of every month. This ceremony reminds us, over and over, that we need the spiritual nourishment Christ brings to us and that Christ, our living Savior, is present with us, now and in the future.
All who are baptized and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are welcome to His table.