Baptism and Communion

Photo by James Wheeler on

Sacraments are a second means by which the church proclaims the triune God’s work in the world, but liturgically central in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. The sacraments provide this more concrete, even sensual, experience of God’s word as the physical sign (i.e., water, bread, wine) symbolizes and makes present the reality that it signifies (i.e., the gospel promise).The Greek term for “sacrament” was mysterion, and means “mystery.” Baptism, the rite of passage into the Christian church, and communion (Eucharist) or (Lord’s Supper), the rite of spiritual sustenance, have almost universally been accepted as sacraments in the Christian tradition.

It is said that In baptism, the initiate is included in the saving promises connected to the death and resurrection of Christ, as symbolized by her rising up out of the waters of death (Rom. 6:4-4). In the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ, given as a saving atonement for sinful human beings, are represented and remembered through the consumption of bread and wine, a sacrament that is meant to nourish Christian faith, hope, and love. These two sacraments, one that is oriented to the beginning of the Christian life and the other that concerns the ongoing nurture of the Christian life, are accepted by most Protestant churches, since they refer to the death and resurrection of Christ and were specifically commanded by him to be observed (e.g., Matt. 28:19 and 26:26-8).

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