Epiphany is a sacramental church. God has given two very precious gifts to the church by which He gives the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of eternal life. These gifts are Baptism and Holy Communion. 


Holy Baptism

Baptism is the entry point for all Christians into God’s family and Church. We believe Baptism is totally God’s work in us, whereby through his promise and simple water, he gives each of us the unconditional assurance that he will never stop desiring to love us and forgive us our whole life long. As the Scriptures teach, we believe Baptism is a means of Grace, meaning through it God creates faith, forgives sins and adopts us into His family not because we deserve it, but simply out of God’s love for us. 


Holy Communion

Like Baptism, Holy Communion is entirely the work of God whereby Jesus Christ is made physically available to sinners through bread and wine (but of course, remember, this is a mystery received in faith.) We take Jesus at His word when He says “…this is my body… this is my blood.” (Matthew 26:26-28) Only His true body and true blood can forgive sins, and that is what Jesus gives us in the Holy meal. 

However, unlike Baptism, which is the entry point for Christians into the Church, Holy Communion is a sacrament that is administered as a Christian matures in faith. Because Christ’s body and blood are really present, the Apostle Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11:28-29, “Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats or drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” 

Therefore, Epiphany practices what is sometimes called “close communion” meaning that in taking what Scripture says seriously about properly discerning the “body” of Christ, we believe that individuals need to be aware of exactly what it is they are receiving at the altar—the real presence of Jesus’ body and blood. We also believe that because the church is the body of Christ on earth (1st Corinthians 12:12-27), we too should be in agreement in the major doctrines of faith. In this way, Holy Communion becomes not only an inward act of forgiveness and grace from God for the individual, but also an outward sign of our unity in a common confession of what we believe.