Presbyterians, like many Protestant Christian denominations, observe two sacraments that are central to worship and living out our faith. The Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Communion (Lord’s Supper) are ways to help make real and affirming the promises of God’s grace-filled presence in our lives. The sacraments are celebrated in response to the proclamation of God’s love and faithfulness to us.
The Sacrament of Baptism, the sign and seal of God’s grace and our response, is the foundational recognition of Christian commitment.
Celebrated as part of public worship, baptism is a deeply meaningful experience for the congregation as we welcome an infant or adult into the community of faith. Every baptism offers an invitation for us to remember our own baptisms, the promises we have made, and our personal commitments to Christ and his church.
As our Lord Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, so we stand near the water in the baptismal font. In the Presbyterian tradition, the minister dips water from the font and places it on the head of the adult or child, symbolizing their passage through baptism to new life in Christ. As the congregation, we vow to receive the baptized person into the community, promise to help nurture their faith, and, in so doing, renew and reaffirm our own baptismal vows.
Come in your faith, come in your doubt.
Sacrament of Communion is the sign and seal of our communion with the crucified and risen Lord. In some traditions Communion is called the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist.
Jesus shared meals with his followers throughout his earthly life and ministry. The Sacrament of Communion offers a rich, abundant feast of theological meaning. It helps to make real what we proclaim: God’s sustaining grace offered to all people, and the assurance that Christ abides with us and nourishes us in the walk of faith. The meal is a gift of grace, and God invites us to respond to that grace.
At Catonsville Presbyterian, we share in this meal on the first Sunday of each month and on special occasions throughout the church year. Sometimes we receive Communion at the front of the church, and sometimes we receive it seated in the church pews, with direction from the minister and ushers.
When we gather for Communion, the Spirit draws us into Christ’s presence and unites us with Christians in every time and space. We join with the baptized faithful in heaven and on earth in offering thanksgiving to the triune God. We affirm the promises of our baptism and recommit ourselves to love and serve God, one another, and our neighbors in the world.
We invite all worshippers to receive the bread and cup, regardless of age or understanding. We go to the table in our faith—and even in our doubt—assured of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ.