There are two ordinances to which the Baptist Church adheres. These two ordinances are Baptism and The Lord's Supper. Ordinances, as used here, mean traditions and acts commanded by Jesus that His followers share as a sign of their commitment to Him.
Baptism comes from the Greek work "baptzo" meaning to dip or submerge. Baptists follow the tradition of Jesus having been baptized by John the Baptist. Likewise, we follow the commandment of Jesus who said, "Go, ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and Holy Spirit."
Baptism is symbolic of the Christian's death to his old life, its burial and the Christian's resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ. Baptism serves as a confession of faith in God and a willingness to follow Christ.
The second ordinance is the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion, as it is frequently called. Baptist belief holds that the Lord's Supper is symbolic. The bread and the fruit of the vine are but symbols of the broken body and shed blood of Christ. Any baptized believer is eligible to partake of the Lord's Supper. It is observed as a remembrance of that which Christ did for us. The bread is symbolic of His body broken on Calvary's cross out of His love for us; and the fruit of the wine is symbolic of His blood which was shed for the forgiveness of our sins.