The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion feature prominently in the liturgical
worship of Protestant churches and the Reformed community in particular. The
sacraments make the church different from other social institutions because its rituals
are unique and life giving. In a sense, these unique rituals give the church an identity as
a community that worships God. Without the sacraments there is no life in the church.
The purpose and functions of the sacraments in the liturgical life of the church clearly
shows that every church has an access to this fountain of life. The centrality of the
sacraments in the church indicates that they are the life line of the ecclesial community.
In essence these liturgical rituals are there for spiritual nourishment and growth of the
With this in mind, this thesis is based on the premise that the administration of
sacraments should nourish the people of God. Any sacramental practice that is contrary
to the core tenets of the Reformed theology about sacraments demands scrutiny. The
purpose of this research then is to probe the sacramental ministry in African
Presbyterian congregations in Pretoria.