Communion & Baptism
Presbyterian Christians recognize two sacred acts Jesus commanded us to do:
- to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- to celebrate the communion of the Lord’s Supper.
We call these “sacraments” (sacred things). Other Christians may have additional sacraments; we may do those same things but don’t consider them
sacred things initiated by Jesus.
Baptism is a sign that God graciously accepts us as God’s own children.
It’s a symbolic washing—Presbyterians may baptize with just a few drops of water on the head, or they may be bodily immersed in a pool or body of water.
A person needs to be baptized only once; baptism doesn’t “wear off.”
People of any age can be baptized; you don’t have to be an adult, but you don’t have to be a baby either.
The Session (governing board) of a Presbyterian congregation approves requests for baptism.
Also called the “eucharist” (from the Greek word meaning “thanksgiving”) or the “Lord’s Supper” after the meal Jesus initiated in the Upper Room, Holy Communion is a “meal” of bread and wine (or grape juice, as practiced in this congregation). These foods are symbols for the body (bread) and blood (juice) of Jesus
Communion services remind us that Jesus was fully divine and yet also fully human (a “divine mystery”).
In receiving communion we remember that Jesus died but was raised to eternal life by God, and that God promises us eternal life, too.
Communion can help us remember that we are part of a world-wide movement of Jesus-followers.
Communion connects us with believers of every time and place; it reminds us of believers—including dear departed relatives and friends—who we are joined with as a “communion of saints.”
The Presbyterian Church (USA) states that any baptized Christian (of any age) is welcome to receive the sacrament of communion in a Presbyterian church.