Holy Communion is one of two sacraments in the Church of Scotland, the other being baptism.
For thousands of years, the Church has continued a practice called communion, or depending on different church traditions, the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist.
Communion uses bread as a symbol for Jesus’ body and wine (or grape juice) as a symbol for His blood.
Where did Communion come from?
Jesus started the tradition of communion. He instructed His followers to use bread and wine to remember the sacrifice He was going to make when He died for our sins on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Jesus called Himself “the bread of life,” which means that we’re nourished by Him, we survive because of Him, and He satisfies us when everything else leaves us empty (John 6:48-51). There’s a connection between our nearness to Jesus, believing in Him, and being fulfilled by Him (John 6:35).
The early Church celebrated Jesus by taking communion, sometimes every day (Acts 2:42-46). They saw that every time they gathered around a table to eat and drink, it was a chance to recognise Jesus and thank God for all He’s done.
Why Christians celebrate Communion
It’s not about the bread and wine; it’s about the body and blood of Jesus.
It’s not about the ritual or the method; it’s about listening to Jesus and doing what He says.
Communion is not an obligation, but a celebration.
Communion celebrates the Gospel: Jesus was broken for us so that we can be fixed by Him.
Celebrating communion marks the story of Jesus, how He gave Himself completely to give us a better life, a new start, and a fresh relationship with God (1 Peter 3:18). It’s not about a ritual to revere, but a person to worship. Jesus is less concerned about the method of celebrating communion and more concerned that we celebrate it.
As often as we remember Jesus, we should celebrate Jesus.
Communion is important because it’s a command to remember. Jesus wants us to remember every time we taste bread and wine, and even when we sit at the tables in our own homes, that He is the one who provides all we need. He gives us the physical food that we need to survive and the spiritual nourishment we need to keep taking next steps with Him.
When do we celebrate Communion?
We celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of every month as part of our morning worship service.
All are welcome at the table!
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognised by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In the case of infant baptism the Church expects at least one parent or other close family member either to be a member of the Church or willing to become a member.
In the baptismal service those appropriate adults profess their own faith and promise to give the child a Christian upbringing.
In the case of adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises.
Baptism is normally administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church. There is a little more flexibility in the case of genuine emergencies, normally in a hospital situation.
The thanksgiving and blessing of a child
Since 2003, the Church of Scotland has provided orders for the thanksgiving for, and blessing of, a child.
The blessing ceremony takes place at morning worship following the same pattern as that for Baptism, except the wording and promises are different, and no water is used.
Nothing is required of the parents in either commitment or belief.
There is a guide available on the Church of Scotland website on the blessing of a child and includes more information and a suggested order of service for the thanksgiving and blessing of a child. If you would like more information then click HERE
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If you would like to be baptised or you would like your child baptised or blessed then please get in touch with our minister, Neil, who can advise on the next steps
You do not have to be a member to worship with us in Belhaven on a Sunday or be part of our church family but some people find that they want to make a greater commitment to Jesus and the community they have been worshipping Him with.
Here in Belhaven Parish Church we adhere to the membership process of the Church of Scotland, which means that anyone who has been baptised is eligible for membership in a Church of Scotland church.
If you feel that you want to become a member or would even like to explore membership then why not join a membership course?
Membership courses will run in March and November with a special service taking place to admit new members twice a year.
For more detail speak to our minister, Neil.
What we believe
As a Church of Scotland congregation we believe in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and proclaim Jesus Christ crucified, risen and glorified.
Our standards of belief are to be found in the Old and New Testament (the Bible) and in the Church's historic Confession of Faith. For a brief summary of our beliefs, it is useful to look at the Apostles' Creed, which is used by many churches in declaring Christian faith.
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead, he ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in,
the Holy Ghost;
the Holy Catholic Church;
the Communion of Saints;
the Forgiveness of Sins;
the Resurrection of the Body;
and the Life Everlasting."
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