Adopted by the 2004 General Conference, This Holy Mystery is the official interpretive statement of theology and practice.
United Methodists share with many other Christians an increased interest in the study and celebration of the sacraments. For the last several decades we have been actively seeking to recover and revitalize appreciation of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Our current services of the Baptismal Covenant and Word and Table are the fruit of a long process of development that began in the 1960’s and culminated in their adoption by the 1984 General Conference and publication in The United Methodist Hymnal approved in 1988. The change in location of these sacramental rituals from the back to the front of the Hymnal is an intentional expression of their significance in the life of the community of faith. In 1996 the General Conference approved By Water and the Spirit: A United Methodist Understanding of Baptism as an official interpretive and teaching document for This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion was adopted by the 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Copyright © 2003, 2004 The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203-0003. This paper may be printed, copied, distributed, or otherwise used for nonprofit education by individuals, local congregations, and agencies of The United Methodist Church with the inclusion of the copyright citation. It may not be used for profit or republication without prior permission. 3 the church. This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion is submitted to the 2004 General Conference with the same purpose. Both of these documents reflect United Methodism’s efforts to reclaim its sacramental heritage and to be in accord with ecumenical movements in sacramental theology and practice.