The Creeds

NiceneWordle.pngThe Creeds: A Summary of Faith

What are these “Creeds?” you ask. The word derives from the Latin credo, which means “I believe.” Both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed begin with this phrase.

Essentially, the creeds represent the highest possible human reach toward ultimate realities. They represent a collective assent, sustained through centuries, to beliefs that let the whole body of the Church speak. By our open declaration, we are united with Christians around the world — past, present and future.

The Apostles’ Creed dates from the earliest years of the Christian faith and was used as a statement of faith at baptism. It is recited in our daily Morning and Evening prayer services, found in the Book of Common Prayer and used at public or private devotions.

The Nicene Creed dates from a meeting of bishops in 325 A.D. in Nicæa (Turkey). This summary of the Christian faith is recited in unison at celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
  creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
    and born of the Virgin Mary.
  He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.
  He descended to the dead.
  On the third day he rose again.
  He ascended into heaven,
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  the holy catholic Church,
  the communion of saints,
  the forgiveness of sins,
  the resurrection of the body,
  and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
  the Father, the Almighty,
  maker of heaven and earth,
  of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
  the only Son of God,
  eternally begotten of the Father,
  God from God, Light from Light,
  true God from true God,
  begotten, not made,
  of one Being with the Father.
  Through him all things were made.
  For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
  On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
  he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
  He will come again in glory to judge
    the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the Lord, the giver of life,
  who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
  With the Father and the Son he is
    worshiped and glorified.
  He has spoken through the Prophets.
  We believe in one holy catholic
    and apostolic Church.
  We acknowledge one baptism
    for the forgiveness of sins.
  We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  Do I have to Understand or Believe All That?

The Creeds represent the beliefs of the Church and we recite them as our own journey toward relationship with God continues. The church is only slightly concerned that you intellectually agree, but is tremendously concerned that they become part of your life, the basis of your words and actions. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with saying, “Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words.”

What if I Have Doubts or Questions?

In the Episcopal Church, you do not have to commit yourself to a body of doctrine which prevents your own thinking. Questions are encouraged. The Episcopal Church does not try to reduce every life to some sameness of experience and understanding, but is sympathetic to the concerns and questions of today. We believe you can find intellectual and spiritual satisfaction here.

Inquirers’ Classes are regularly scheduled. Please contact us if you are interested in attending.

Resources

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