The word sacrament comes from the root word sacred. That means participating in the sacraments is one of the most holy acts of worship we do!
According to Martin Luther’s definition, a sacrament is that which is:
- Commanded by Christ;
- A promise of grace, and;
- Accompanied by an earthly element. (Water in Baptism: Bread and Wine/Grape Juice in Communion)
By this definition, only two commands by Christ fit this description: Baptism and Communion. In both cases we hear God’s promise to give God’s children two gifts: forgiveness of sins and eternal life. They are gifts, meaning that there is nothing we can do to earn or merit them. God simply forgives in our asking and provides eternal life to those who believe. It’s wonderful!
The sacrament of Holy Baptism is the way a person is officially welcomed into the church and given the name child of God. There is no set age for baptism; though, most families in our church usually have their children baptized between 6 and 12 months after birth.
Since the sacraments are the holiest rites of the church, FLC asks that anyone seeking a baptism for a child or themselves who has not already participated in a Baptized To Belong class to contact Pastor Lehman through the Church Office. Classes are offered periodically during the year.
Baptisms are celebrated on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of the month and are celebrated during regular worship services. Sponsors need to be active Christians who will faithfully assist parents in the raising of their godchildren.
Holy Communion is usually celebrated on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at both services. All baptized Christians who believe in the presence of Christ through the elements of the bread and wine/grape juice are welcome to communion. Uninstructed children can come forward for a pastoral blessing.
Altar Rail Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday of the month at the 8:30 Traditional service. Worshippers come forward, kneel at the rail and commune by eating portions of unleavened bread and drinking wine or grape juice.
Processional Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday of the month at the 10:00 Celebration service. Worshippers come forward and commune by eating portions of unleavened bread and drinking wine or grape juice.
Intinction Communion is offered on the 3rd Sunday of the month. Worshippers come forward, receive a bread wafer, dip it into the wine or grape juice and consume both at the same time.
Since Holy Communion is one of the holiest rites of the church, FLC provides communion instruction for those who have been baptized but have not yet communed. Pastor Sara offers first communion instruction that includes the baking of unleavened bread. The church traditionally celebrates first communion for fourth graders and other children/adults on Maundy Thursday.