We encounter God through the sacraments of the church, which touch lives at important times and places. Sacraments bring God’s grace, the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the example of the life of Jesus Christ together with one’s personal commitment of faith. Through the sacraments, we discover the presence of God everywhere and realize that all life is sacred.
Community of Christ has eight sacraments, most of which are celebrated in worship experiences at appropriate times. You can learn more at the World Church website.
Community of Christ practices baptism by immersion. Those old enough to make their own decision (age 8 or older) may be baptized in Community of Christ. Baptism represents a first step toward membership in Community of Christ.
We also recognize baptism by immersion from other Christian churches. Confirmation in Community of Christ is required for membership.
The sacrament of confirmation “confirms” membership in Community of Christ, and affirms the Holy Spirit’s continued blessing for each disciple.
The commitment made through baptism and confirmation is active “discipleship expressed through covenant with God and others in sacred community” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:2d). Confirmation helps weave people into the fabric of community—both congregation and worldwide church—so they can grow in discipleship.
The Lord's Supper (Communion)
Following the example of Jesus with his disciples, Community of Christ practices the sacrament of Communion. This is shared the first Sunday of each month in the congregation and on special occasions. We provide a gluten-free bread option and use unfermented grape juice and water. All who believe in Christ, which usually is expressed in water baptism, whether members of Community of Christ or not, are welcome to share the Lord’s Supper. This is an opportunity to celebrate again our baptism and confirmation covenants, reconcile relationships, and mutually recommit to the church’s mission.
In Community of Christ, ordination is not a given, and there is no set process of moving through priesthood offices. When leaders feel a disciple is called to a work that is part of a specific priesthood responsibility or ministry, they will extend that call for consideration. Disciples are encouraged to take the time they need to determine whether such a call is a good fit for them. Congregations are also part of the process, and each priesthood candidate is presented for a sustaining vote.
Priesthood responsibilities are extended to all members, regardless of race or gender. Priesthood members are expected to uphold high standards of ministerial ethics and to serve with integrity and trustworthiness.
Blessing of Children
When families bring their babies to be blessed in Community of Christ, they are responding to God’s grace by choosing to raise their child in God’s loving community and promising to provide guidance and nurture throughout the child’s lifetime. The congregation also commits to being a loving community in which the child can thrive and grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Children from newborn through age 7 may be blessed. This sacrament is available to any child regardless of the family’s membership in Community of Christ.
Laying on of Hands for the Sick
During times of physical, mental, or emotional distress, people may seek this sacrament from ministers. This sacrament opens a way for healing in whatever form it comes. Usually two elders administer this sacrament together. This may be done privately or in the presence of family, friends, and the congregation. This sacrament is available to all seeking wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.
Marriage in Community of Christ is available to any loving couple, regardless of gender, wishing to commit to a life together. The couple’s agreement establishes a lifelong bond--a covenant to share Christ-like love with each other, with others, and with God. Community of Christ priests and elders may perform this sacrament, regardless of the couple’s membership in Community of Christ, as long as local laws governing marriage are followed.
This sacrament expresses the universal love of God for the recipient and brings assurance, clarifies choices, and provides light for a lifetime of faithful discipleship in response to God. Evangelists undergo extensive spiritual preparation for this sacred ministry. Formerly referred to as a "patriarchal blessing," Community of Christ changed the term to "evangelist's blessing" in 1984 in order to include female priesthood holders. The blessing can be requested by anyone who wants to feel God’s loving grace and guidance, and is available regardless of membership in Community of Christ. It can also be requested multiple times throughout a person's life.