The Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper, is one of the two sacraments at IREF; the other one is Baptism. IREF believes and confesses that Jesus Christ ordained and instituted this sacrament on the night when He shared the last supper with His disciples the evening before His crucifixion and death (See Matthew 26: 17-30; Mark 14: 12-26; Luke 22: 7-23; 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34). During that last supper, He commanded His disciples to continue to celebrate this sacrament in remembrance of Him. With regard to the meaning of this sacrament at IREF, we conform to the Dutch Confession of Faith article 35: “Of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ” (see Appendix 1).
In IREF, we observe Holy Communion usually four times per year (quarterly). Before participation in this Holy Sacrament, we read a summary describing its meaning and who can take part in it. We invite to take part in the sacrament all those who have been baptized and believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ the Son, and in the Holy Spirit; who truly regret their sins; who sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior; and who desire to live in obedience to Him as Lord. The congregation is asked to (re)examine themselves in regard to their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and ask God for the forgiveness of their sins. During the celebration, we share the bread and the wine symbolizing Christ’s body and blood, which are broken and poured out for all who receive His sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins.
The IREF leadership is responsible to ensure that the Holy Communion is administered in a worthy manner to all participants, and consequently, must edify the participants in the correct understanding of the sacrament. According to the tradition of the church that IREF is part of (Dutch Reformed Church, now PKN), which is practiced in many congregations, only those who have been baptized (usually as infants) and have publicly confessed their faith during a worship service (usually as adults), are allowed to partake in the Holy Communion.
However, IREF also acknowledges the fact that IREF members and visitors come from different church backgrounds, traditions, cultures and countries. To respect this diversity, it is IREF’s policy to wholeheartedly invite all adults who take part in this sacrament in their home churches to participate in the Holy Communion, even if their traditions differ from those of the PKN regarding the public confession of faith. The IREF leadership welcomes discussions to help believers in making this personal decision.