Posted on: Wednesday 21 August 2019
Posted in: Anglican Faith Connections
Our annual Baptism and First Communion service was held today, Wednesday 21 August 2019. Girls from the Junior School from Year 4 upwards are offered the opportunity to make their First Communion here in the School Chapel and this year fourteen girls availed themselves of this opportunity. If the girls have not been baptised then that is offered as well because baptism is a prerequisite for making one’s First Communion.
Although the making of one’s First Communion is completely voluntary, the preparation for it is part of the Year 4 Religious Education course. This allows all the girls to be taught the meaning and significance of the two major Christian sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion. These are often called the canonical sacraments because they are not only mentioned in scripture but Jesus himself told Christians that they should go into the world to preach the good news of his death and resurrection and baptise those who believe.
Jesus also said at the Last Supper that the bread and the wine were his body and blood of the new covenant between God and we humans. He also emphasised this by saying that when Christians eat or drink the bread and wine, they were doing it in remembrance of him. The word “remembrance” in this context has not just the emphasis on memory but also the meaning of participation in the original event. This is the central understanding of a sacrament. That ordinary, everyday things like water, bread and wine become the blessed vehicles by which the Christian’s faith is nurtured and nourished. The Anglican Catechism sums it up most succinctly: “(a sacrament) is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given to us by Christ himself, as a means by which we receive that grace, and a pledge to assure us of this.’
Fr Patrick Duckworth