First Presbyterian Church of Norwood
Seeking to Grow in Christ Together:
Welcoming, Loving, Serving in Christ’s Name
The Presbyterian Church USA observes two sacraments in worship:
Baptism and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (also called Holy Communion). The sacraments are “grace we can touch.” They are “visible words of God” that help strengthen faith and nurture discipleship.
The Lord’s Supper is a family meal by which God nurtures and strengthens us in our journey of faith with the very presence of Christ. In this sacrament we remember the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples, and we look forward to the great heavenly banquet when “they shall come from east and west and from north and south and sit at table in the kingdom of God.” In sharing the bread and the cup we are joined with Christ and with all the saints of every time and place.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated on various Sundays throughout the year, and always on Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, and Easter.
Baptism is the sacrament of welcome. In baptism, by water and the Holy Spirit, we are joined to Christ and to Christ’s people, the church. A person is baptized only once. Presbyterians baptize infants and adults.
When we baptize a child, the parents confess their faith in Jesus Christ and they commit themselves to raise their child to love and serve the Lord. The baptism of an infant reminds us that the love of God is for us from the day we are born. The congregation also stands with the parents to commit themselves to nurture and welcome the child in the family of faith. The confirmation of teenagers is their opportunity to affirm for themselves the vows that their parents made when they were baptized as infants.
The baptism of an adult remembers that Jesus calls all of us to become disciples, to declare our trust in him and to follow his way. In this baptism, the individual declares his or her faith in Christ.