The Sacrament of Holy Communion
Also called "The Lord's Supper"
A Sacrament in the Lutheran Church is a sacred act instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us Christians to do, through which the Word of God, connected with earthly elements, (here bread and wine) offer and grant the forgiveness of all our sins and through which we receive from our God the assurance of our eternal salvation.
When we receive the bread and wine of Holy Communion, we also receive the true body and blood of Jesus, given and shed for us on the cross, for the forgiveness of our sins. We do nothing to deserve or merit this forgiveness, but He gives it to us freely, by His grace and mercy.
The Lutheran doctrine of "Real Presence" means that we take Jesus at His word. In, with, and under the bread and wine, we receive His true body and blood, given and shed for us on the cross. We reject as unscriptural the Reformed teaching of "representation" and the Roman teaching of "transubstantiation." We accept by faith in God's clear Word that Jesus said what He meant and He meant what He said. He gave His disciples bread and wine and body and blood when He instituted His Supper, and he continues to do so now when we celebrate the Lord's Supper according to His institution.
We receive the blessings of Holy Communion that God wants us to have through faith alone. That is why, before receiving Holy Communion, we must recognize our great need for the forgiveness it offers and grants, and trust that through the perfect life and innocent suffering and death of our Savior Jesus Christ, He earned that forgiveness for us. And we must recognize, by faith alone, that the body and blood of Jesus are truly and really present in, with, and under the bread and wine.
We are properly prepared to receive Holy Communion when we acknowledge our sinfulness, confess our sins and the need for God's mercy, trust in Christ alone for forgiveness, desire to have our faith in Christ our Savior strengthened, and sincerely desire the strength to fight the temptations of the devil and our sinful flesh and to amend our sinful life, in accordance with the Word of God.
As an expression of the unity and fellowship we have as a family of Bible believing Lutherans, Our Savior Lutheran Church follows the Biblical practice of "Close Communion." Since in this Sacrament we receive the true body and blood of the Savior in and with the bread and wine, God's Word commands us to examine our own hearts for beneficial reception of what the Sacrament offers and gives. God's Word also teaches us that the Sacrament is a confession of faith and an expression of fellowship, that is, agreement on Church teaching. Therefore, we respectfully ask that visitors speak to the Pastor before receiving the Sacrament in order to review the Bible's teaching regarding Holy Communion, and to provide an opportunity to profess fellowship and unity of faith with this Christian congregation.