Previously known as "ordinances," sacraments are rituals that connect us to God and to each other. They often use elements we encounter everyday—water, bread and wine, touch—and enfuse them with sacred purpose. Sacraments transform us and allow us to experience God's grace and love. They are the fruits of the kingdom.
In Community of Christ, there are eight sacraments:
- By immersion, the sacrament in which we commit to become a follower of Christ.
- Following baptism, the sacrament to become a member of the church and receive the Holy Spirit.
- Communion, or the Sacrament of Bread and Wine
- Communion is the time when we come together as one body in Christ and remember his death and resurrection. From D&C 164: “When the church gathers for Communion, highlight the opportunity for members to reaffirm their baptismal covenant, to reconcile strained relationships, and to commit together to the church’s mission of promoting communities of generosity, justice, and peacefulness.” In Community of Christ, we use unfermented grape juice as the wine.
- Blessing of Children
- Two elders lay their hands on the child and offer a prayer asking God to bless the child and the family. Parents, siblings, or other family members often gather around the child and elders during the prayer.
- Laying on of Hands for the Sick
- Two elders anoint a person suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and then ask for God’s blessing of healing.
- Evangelist Blessing
- Formerly known as a patriarchal blessing, a special blessing given by an Evangelist to provide guidance, assurance, and peace.
- All members serve and take part in the mission of Christ, but some disciples are called to specific priesthood offices, to serve the church and world in specialized functions. Through the sacrament of ordination, a person is ordained to an office in either the Melchisedec or Aaronic priesthoods through the laying on of hands by members of the priesthood. Community of Christ has ordained persons regardless of race since 1865, regardless of gender since 1985, and (in the United States and several other jurisdictions of the church) regardless of sexual orientation since 2013.
- The sacrament of marriage celebrates a couple's decision to make a lifelong commitment of mutual support, love, and faithfulness to one another. It is a covenant made between two individuals in the presence of God and with the church as witness. Priests or members of the Melchisedec priesthood may perform this sacrament. Same-sex marriages are celebrated in the United States and several other jurisdictions of the church.
To learn more about the sacraments, click here.