Presbyterians, along with other churches of the Reformed tradition, celebrate two sacraments: Baptism and Communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist). 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 “a radical act of commitment in response to the pure grace of God”. Through the use of water, an individual is initiated into the faith community, claimed as God’s beloved child, and given a sign of God’s forgiveness. Presbyterians baptize infants, youth and adults. When we baptize an infant or a young child, we express our faith in God’s gracious initiative –the belief that God chooses and claims us before we even have the capacity to choose or claim our own faith. When youth or adults are baptized, they claim the gift of faith that they have already received and, through their baptism, publicly commit to their relationship with Christ and the Christian community.
Our Book of Common Worship describes Communion this way: “(In Communion) Christ’s love is received, the covenant is renewed, and the power of Christ’s reign for the renewing of the earth is proclaimed…It is a glad resurrection feast. Gathering around this table, the church anticipates the great banquet of the new age in God’s eternal kingdom.” By eating the bread and drinking from the cup, we believe that we participate in the very life of Christ and that Christ is really spiritually present in our sharing around the table.
We celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month at WPC. We also celebrate it on special days in the life of our church like Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter.
While children are always welcome at the Lord’s Table, WPC has a special “Sacraments Class” each year for children in the third grade. Contact Nancy Holly for more information.