New Apostolic Church from A to Z

Donating blood

From the perspective of the New Apostolic doctrine there are no objections to a transfusion of blood or blood products. A transfusion has no impact on the soul. None of the mental or emotional characteristics of the donor are transferred to the recipient by way of a transfusion.


Divine service

Divine service is the activity of God upon human beings. At the same time, it is a work of human beings for God. In the divine service, people come together to worship God, praise Him, and thank Him. They also gather in order to hear the word of God and receive the sacraments. Thus divine service is an encounter between God and man. In the divine service, the congregation perceives the presence of the triune God and experiences that God serves them in love.

Concerning the early Christians in Jerusalem we read as follows: “And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2: 42). From this we derive the basic elements of the divine service: the Apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer.


Dispensation of sacraments to the departed

In the divine services on Sundays and on church holy days, the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles or Apostles commissioned by them also celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion for the departed after the congregation celebrates Holy Communion. In the process, two ministers serve as proxies to receive the body and blood of Christ on behalf of the departed.

Three times a year—namely on the first Sundays in March, July, and November—special divine services are celebrated in which the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles or Apostles commissioned by them dispense all three sacraments to the departed. These acts are likewise performed on two ministers who serve as proxies.

That the sacraments can be dispensed for the dead is clear from 1 Corinthians 15: 29: “Otherwise what will they do who are baptised for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptised for the dead?”