12.1.9 Dispensation of the sacraments in the divine service

The dispensation of the sacraments is a central event in the divine service. The imparting of the sacraments allows believers to partake in the salvation and redemption made possible by Jesus Christ's incarnation, sacrificial death, and resurrection (see 8→). They are holy acts performed in the power of the Holy Spirit.


The sacramental acts of Holy Baptism with water and Holy Communion are performed by Apostles or priestly ministers in the commission of the Apostles, while Holy Sealing is dispensed solely by Apostles.


Holy Communion is celebrated in every divine service conducted by an Apostle or a priestly minister. On special occasions (such as weddings, funerals) verbal divine services are conducted without the celebration of Holy Communion.


The receiving of the consecrated wafer is preceded by the forgiveness of sins. This occurs in order to enable human beings to worthily partake in God's act of salvation effected by Jesus Christ, which becomes accessible through the sacrament.


At Holy Baptism with water and Holy Sealing, the participants in the divine service are witnesses to the sacramental acts of salvation and the vow of faithfulness made before God and the congregation by those receiving the sacrament.


All three sacraments are also accessible to children. Whenever possible, they participate in the celebration of Holy Communion in the divine service together with the congregation.


On Sundays and Christian holy days, the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles or Apostles commissioned by them also dispense this sacrament to the departed after the celebration of Holy Communion with the congregation. On such occasions, two ministers receive the body and blood of Christ on behalf of the departed. Three times a year, special divine services are held in which the Chief Apostle, the District Apostles, or the Apostles commissioned by them dispense all three sacraments to the departed. These sacraments are likewise administered to two ministers on behalf of the departed.