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 received new life in Christ and presented their bodies to be living sacrifices to God. Eating bread and drinking wine they received the sustaining presence of Christ, remembered God’s covenant promise, and pledged their obedience anew.
The Reformed tradition understands 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. (Directory for Worship, W-1.3033)
Learn about Invitation to Christ, the 2006 sacrament study of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the five simple practices that have sparked a season of sacramental renewal.
Get the DVD on the Sacraments: Gifts of God
Presbyterian Reformed Educational Partners have produced a DVD on the sacraments that you can download for free. You can also order free copies of the DVDs to give to visitors interested in the church or to teachers/catechists. (There’s a one-time shipping and handling fee regardless of how many copies you order.) You can also download the accompanying free study guide.