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Sacraments

As Presbyterians, we recognize two practices as being sacraments (i.e. Outward signs instituted by God to convey an inward or spiritual grace[1]). The two sacraments recognized by the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. as well as most other Protestant churches are:

COMMUNION (The Lord’s Supper or Eucharist)

The Lord’s Supper is the sign and seal of eating and drinking in communion with the crucified and risen Lord. During hiBreads earthly ministry Jesus shared meals with his followers as a sign of community and acceptance and as an occasion for his own ministry. He celebrated Israel’s feasts of covenant commemoration.

In his last meal before his death, Jesus took and shared with his disciples the bread and wine, speaking of them as his body and blood, signs of the new covenant. He commended breaking bread and sharing a cup to remember and proclaim his death.

On the day of his resurrection, the risen Jesus made himself known to his followers in the breaking of bread. He continued to show himself to believers, by blessing and breaking bread, by preparing, serving, and sharing common meals.[2]

BAPTISM

Baptism is the sign and seal of incorporation into Christ. Jesus through his owPitchern baptism identified himself with sinners in order to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus in his own baptism was attested Son by the Father and was anointed with the Holy Spirit to undertake the way of the servant manifested in his sufferings, death, and resurrection. Jesus the risen Lord assured his followers of his continuing presence and power and commissioned them “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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19, NRSV).
The disciples were empowered by the outpouring of the Spirit to undertake a life of service and to be an inclusive worshiping community, sharing life in which love, justice, and mercy abounded.[3]

For more information on the Sacraments and the how we celebrate them in the PCUSA, visit: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/sacraments/
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1 Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, by Donald K. McKim (Westminster John Knox Press, 1996)
2 from the Directory for Worship, W-2.4001, Book of Order 2015-2017 (the Office of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 2015)
3 from the Directory for Worship, W-2.3001, Book of Order 2015-2017 (the Office of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 2015)