What Do Presbyterians Believe about the Sacraments?
Presbyterians believe that Christ is present with believers in the Sacraments just as he is in the written and preached word. In celebrating the Sacraments instituted by Christ, the Church commemorates the redemptive acts by which believers are united with their Lord and made one. These Sacraments, instituted in water and in bread and wine, are to be received in faith as exhibiting and offering the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The Sacraments are regarded as an essential part of the public ministry of the church, in which all Christians are expected to participate. Presbyterians do not maintain, however, that salvation is limited to those who have received these Sacraments.
(Excerpt from Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church in Cary, NC)
From the Presbyterian Church USA
“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recognizes two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as these acts were actively demonstrated by Christ and in turn were asked to perform them. “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.” (Book of Order W-1.3033.2) “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.” (Book of Order W-1.3033.1) All of those who proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior are welcome at the table. All members are encouraged to baptize themselves and their children as we are called to do (From the PCUSA website).