Public Worship and Aids to Devotion Committee Website


General Assembly of Australia

Admission to Membership: First Order

Admission to the Lord's Supper of Baptised Persons, Upon the Public Profession of Their faith

First Order

Addressing the congregation, the minister shall say:

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in accordance with the decision of the Session of this congregation, we are about to admit to communicant membership of the Church and participation in the Lord's Supper N....... They have already been under special instruction in the essentials of the Christian faith and they are ready to profess publicly their faith in Jesus Christ.

Addressing those to be admitted, the minister says:

N......., in your baptism you received the sign and seal of the new covenant. Your parents then took vows that they would teach you the truths and duties of the Christian faith, and bring you up in the fellowship of the church. God in his mercy has brought you to years of responsibility, and you have now come that you may profess your faith in the Lord Jesus. You have come to consecrate yourselves to him, and thereby bind yourselves to his service.

In the New Testament we read:

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Jesus said:

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)

I ask you therefore, to make confession of your faith, and to answer with all sincerity and in the presence of God, the following questions:

Do you believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Response: I do.

Do you repent of your sin, and with a humble and grateful heart put your trust in the mercy and grace of God and in Jesus Christ whose sacrifice on the cross takes away your sin?

Response: I do.

Do you promise to share regularly with your fellow Christians in worship on the Lord's Day?

Response: I do.

Do you promise to be faithful in reading the Bible, and in prayer?

Response: I do.

Do you promise to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength and to give a God-honouring proportion of your time, talents and money for the Church's work in the world?

Response: I do.

Do you promise to confess Christ before others, to serve him in your daily work, and to walk in his ways all the days of your life?

Response: I do.

Do you acknowledge your dependence upon the Holy Spirit to equip you and to enable you to be faithful to this your confession?

Response: I do.

Do you promise to submit to the authority of the Session as they exercise pastoral oversight of the congregation?

Response: I do.

The minister then says:

Let us pray:

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have promised to be with your church always. We pray that you will help us to realise your presence. We ask your blessing on these, your children, who have publicly professed their faith in you. Grant them assurance of forgiveness. Grant them the fullness of your grace. Increase in them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord. And keep them in your mercy to life eternal. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The minister calls upon the congregation to stand, then, laying his hand on the head of each as they kneel before him, says:

The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory, bless, preserve and keep you, and grant to you his life-giving Spirit, to enable you to keep faithfully the covenant vows which you have made.

Addressing the candidates, the minister says:

Since God has given you grace to profess your faith, I now, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and Head of the Church, and by authority of the Session, admit you to communicant membership of the church and to the fellowship of the Lord's Table. We now extend to you the right hand of fellowship.

The Aaronic blessing is sung (Rejoice! 352).

After which the minister says:

Let us pray:

We thank you, O God, for your mercy to these your servants, and to your church which has had the joy of receiving them into full communion. We thank you for their Christian training, for every good influence in their lives, and for the assurance you have given them of your love and your grace.

As they now dedicate themselves to you, we pray that you will accept and bless them. When they approach your Table to receive the symbols of the body and blood of Christ, grant that they may know his love more clearly and receive his grace more fully. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Addressing the new communicants, the minister says:

Brothers and sisters in Christ, you are now communicant members of the church. This is a great privilege. No privilege comes without corresponding responsibility. I urge you N........ to accept that responsibility. You have been called by God. Walk worthily of that calling. In the Bible, the apostle Paul uses a metaphor when speaking of the Church. Calling it the Body of Christ, he says that we are members of that Body. Be a good member of that Body, strengthening your brothers and sisters in whose ranks you take your place.

James in his letter tells us that faith without works is dead, and that we should be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers. N....... let the life of Christ be seen in your lives, that others may know whose you are and whom you serve.

Jesus himself said that if we would follow him, then we must be prepared to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him, and that no one, putting a hand to the plough and turning back, is fit for the kingdom of God. I charge you N....... live lives of self-sacrifice, lives of service to your Master and to others. Never deny him, for he will never deny you.

May God richly bless you and give you joy in your service and that peace which passes all understanding.

Addressing the congregation, the minister says:

And you, the members of the congregation, receive these brothers/sisters into your midst. Love them; surround them with your concern; uphold and support them in your prayers. Remember that our Lord said:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. (John 13:34,35)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

(1 Corinthians 16:23)