Prince of Peace Ev. Lutheran Church is a fellowship of God’s people who practice the sacraments as they were instituted by God.
What is a Sacrament?
* A sacrament is a sacred act, which Christ established or instituted for Christians to continue to do. As a point of comparison, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Then he commanded them to love each other. He did not command believers to continue to wash each other’s feet until he returns.
* A sacrament is a sacred act in which Christ tells us to use earthly elements (water, bread, wine) together with God's Word.
* A sacrament is a sacred act in which Christ offers, gives, and seals to us the forgiveness of sins and thus also life and salvation. As a point of comparison, marriage is a divine institution. It brings wonderful blessings into our lives such as: companionship, sexual happiness, and children. It does not convey the specific blessings of the gospel - forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
According to this Biblical definition, we have two sacraments - Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The sacraments are God’s gifts to us, not works that we perform for him. They connect us to Christ’s saving work. That is why, when we speak of the gospel, we speak of the gospel in the word and in the sacraments.
Our pastor performs baptisms as part of our Sunday morning worship service. He also performs private baptisms at church, at people’s homes, or at the hospital. It is critical that age-appropriate Bible instruction about Baptism be given to those who request baptism before the baptism itself. In the case of infants, the pastor meets with the parents to review what God tells us in his word about Baptism. Typically, this is a one session Bible class.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Holy Communion is offered to communicant members of the W.E.L.S. (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) and the E.L.S. (Evangelical Lutheran Synod) on the first and third Sundays of the month. We also offer Holy Communion as part of the following special services: Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, and Easter.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are both sacraments. However, the Lord attaches a strong warning to unworthy reception of the Lord’s Supper which he does not attach to baptism. Therefore, out of obedience to the command of our Lord and as an expression of Christian love for everyone concerned, we practice closed communion. We invite all who are communicant members of Prince of Peace or visitors who belong to our W.E.L.S. (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) fellowship to receive the Lord’s Supper with us. We also practice closed communion because God’s Word teaches us to regard Communion as an outward expression of agreement concerning the teachings of the Bible (1 Corinthians 1:10, Romans 16:17, and 1 Corinthians 10:17). God’s Word also warns us that any communicant who does not recognize that the body and blood of Christ really are present in the Sacrament brings judgment on himself (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Scripture also requires each communicant to examine himself (1 Corinthians 11:28) before receiving the Lord’s body and blood together with the bread and wine.
Please note that we are not implying that, because you are not a member of our fellowship, that you do not have saving faith in Christ. Only God can read hearts. We do want our Lord’s Supper practice to be faithful to Scriptural teaching. We want everyone who does receive the Lord’s Supper to receive it as a blessing.
We ask that our communicant members fill out a communion registration card and hand it to an usher as they are ushered forward to receive the sacrament. Communicants are ushered to the communion rail in groups of 10 by proceeding up the center aisle to the right side (pulpit side) of the altar area. The pastor will motion the communicants to kneel at the communion rail. You may feel free to remain standing if you need to. We offer the common cup and individual cups. The usher will proceed down the communion rail, offering the individual cups. The Pastor will follow with the common cup. If you choose an individual cup, please hold it in a way that the pastor can see it so that he can more easily determine who would like the common cup. We do offer grape juice as an alternative to wine. Please speak to the Pastor before the service so that he is aware of your desire to receive grape juice instead of wine.
After receiving the Lord’s Supper, the communicants leave the communion rail by exiting to their left, walking down the side aisle, and returning to their seats from the back of the church.