Communion

Denominations often differ over what they recognize as sacraments. Some recognize as many as seven sacraments, others have no sacraments in the life of the church. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

We believe Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be Sacraments, instituted by God and commended by Christ. Sacraments are signs of the real presence and power of Christ in the Church, symbols of God’s action. Through the Sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God, and marks them for service.

The early Church, following Jesus, took three primary material elements of life–water, bread, and wine–to become basic symbols of offering life to God as Jesus had offered his life. Being washed with the water of Baptism, Christians receive new life in Christ and present their bodies to be living sacrifices to God. Eating bread and drinking wine we receive the sustaining presence of Christ, remember God’s covenant promise, and pledge our obedience anew.

At Grace Presbyterian, all who accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and are baptized are welcomed to the table. The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all who have been baptized, remembering that access to the Table is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love.

For those who for health reasons are unable to be with us on Sunday mornings to share the Lord’s Supper, Home Communion is available.   It is served on the 1st Sunday of each month.    Please contact Peggy Hellberg (pastoralcare@gpcarlington.org) if you are interested in having the Lord’s Supper served at home.

The Lord’s Supper is regularly served at both services on the first Sunday of the month and at other appropriate occasions as approved by the Session, the local governing body of the church.

MORE ABOUT COMMUNION FROM THE PCUSA:

The Lord’s Supper is the sign and seal of eating and drinking in communion with the crucified and risen Lord. During his earthly ministry Jesus shared meals with his followers as a sign of community and acceptance and as an occasion for his own ministry.” (Book of Order W-2.4001a)

Around the Table of the Lord, God’s people are in communion with Christ and with all who belong to Christ. Reconciliation with Christ compels reconciliation with one another. All the baptized faithful are to be welcomed to the Table, and none shall be excluded because of race, sex, age, economic status, social class, handicapping condition, difference of culture or language, or any barrier created by human injustice. Coming to the Lord’s Table the faithful are actively to seek reconciliation in every instance of conflict or division between them and their neighbors. (Book of Order W-2.4006)

The Lord’s Supper is to be observed on the Lord’s Day, in the regular place of worship, and in a manner suitable to the particular occasion and local congregation. It is appropriate to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as often as each Lord’s Day. It is to be celebrated regularly and frequently enough to be recognized as integral to the Service for the Lord’s Day. (Book of Order W-2.4009)

The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all who have been baptized, remembering that access to the Table is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love. In preparing to receive Christ in this Sacrament, the believer is to confess sin and brokenness, to seek reconciliation with God and neighbor, and to trust in Jesus Christ for cleansing and renewal. Even one who doubts or whose trust is wavering may come to the Table in order to be assured of God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus. (Book of Order W-2.4011a)