Deo Lutheran Church

Worship 101

What's expected of me?

What about my kids?

Sacraments

Education

What's a Lutheran?

Services

Sacraments

Over the centuries the wider church has called many different things sacraments. Within the Lutheran church, we observe two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We choose to name these two experiences as being sacramental because they meet the following criteria:

Other events, such as weddings and confirmation, are very important to Lutherans, even though we do not consider them to be sacramental.

Holy Communion

During Holy Communion, the community of faith gathers together in the ritual sharing of bread and wine. We do this because Jesus says in the scriptures that in doing this, we experience his presence and the gift of forgiveness of sins.

The precise mechanics of how this gift is conferred in the sacrament is something that Lutherans do not tend to worry about very much. It is enough to know that Christ is present in the bread, the wine, and in the gathered community. It is enough to know that this sacrament is a gift, given "for us".

For this reason, anyone who wishes to receive Holy Communion may do so in our church. This includes infants, who often indicate their wish to receive this gift of God by simply by reaching for it when it comes their way.

At Deo, we celebrate Holy Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, as well as at certain festival days, such as Christmas and Easter. For people for whom wine or wheat are not possible for health reasons, we offer grape juice and wheat/gluten free alternatives (check with the pastor before the service if you require the latter).

To read about the complex history of Holy Communion and the diversity of modern practices across denominations, check out Wikipedia.

Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event after which one can say without hesitation that one belongs to the family of God. Lutherans emphasize the idea that only the love and the grace of God can make a person part of God's family. In baptism, we celebrate the fact that God has chosen to be a part of the baptized person's life, not the other way around. For this reason, Lutherans find it quite acceptable to baptize infants and young children, although baptism is a wonderful thing at any age.

There is no such thing as a "Lutheran Baptism", and Lutherans recognize people who have been baptized in other denominations as fellow members of the universal church. One thing that is very important to Lutherans (as it is to Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.) is that the name of the Triune God be used in the baptism, in accordance with Matthew 28:19.

As with Holy Communion, Holy Baptism has a long tradition of diverse interpretation and vigorous debate within the church. For way more information than you could possibly handle, check out Wikipedia; for a simpler explanation, talk to Pastor Erik.