As a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Highland Presbyterian celebrates two sacraments: baptism and holy communion. Baptism is a sacrament of initiation, administered only once, by which individuals are incorporated into the church, the body of Christ. In this public event, a person of any age is marked as Christ’s own by water, which represents the washing away of sin. Symbolically this act engrafts a person into the body of Christ, the family of believers, just as a cutting is grafted onto a branch of a tree. Because Presbyterians believe baptism to be God’s act, we do not "re-baptize" those who have received the sacrament in another Christian denomination. We baptize infants and young children on the faith of their parents, and teens and adults on their own professions of faith in Jesus Christ.
Holy communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper) is the sacrament by which we are fed and sustained. Think of it as a family meal when all Christians (not just Presbyterians!) join with one another to remember what God has done for us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the glorious promised future being prepared for us. Holy communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month and on special days throughout the church year such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, and Maundy Thursday. The tone of the sacrament is sometimes somber – such as the night we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples – and sometimes joyful, such as the toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’ service of Jazz Communion on the first Sunday of July each year.
Feel free to ask any of the pastors your questions about the sacraments!