Creeds

Creeds

Creeds were developed by the early church fathers, adopted by the church and have been used as a means of expressing our faith for centuries.  The Apostles' Creed is the basis for the baptismal covenant in the BCP (p. 304), and it is used in the Daily Offices. It may also be used at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, at the Burial of the Dead, and at the Consecration of a Church.The Nicene Creed in its original form of "We believe" is used in the Rite 2 Eucharistic liturgy and is the first option in the Rite 1 Eucharistic liturgy in the 1979 BCP.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, 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, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and 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

History of the Apostles Creed

The Apostles Creed is an ancient formula of Christian belief in three sections concerning God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Although its authorship is attributed to the twelve apostles, opinions vary concerning its origin. Its title dates from the late fourth century, and it may be based on a shorter form of the creed in use at Rome in the middle of the second century.

The Apostles' Creed may be considered to be an authentic expression of the apostolic faith. It contains twelve articles, and is known as the baptismal creed because catechumens were traditionally required to recite it before baptism. It was the basis for the original baptismal formula. Candidates were baptized by immersion or affusion after their response of faith to each of the three questions concerning Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Apostles' Creed is the basis for the baptismal covenant in the BCP (p. 304), and it is used in the Daily Offices. It may also be used at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, at the Burial of the Dead, and at the Consecration of a Church.[1]

 

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.

History of the Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed was first issued by the Council of Nicaea (ergo the name) in 325, but the current version was completed at the Council of Constantinople in 381. There is no doubt that it was passed on to the church through the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

It is commonly held to be based on the baptismal creed of Jerusalem. It states the full divinity of the Son, the second Person of the Trinity. It also states the full divinity of the Holy Spirit. The use of the Nicene Creed in the eucharist, in contrast to the use of the Apostles' Creed in baptism, began in the fifth century in Antioch and became the universal practice in the church.

The Nicene Creed is expressed in its original form of "We believe" in the Rite 2 eucharistic liturgy of the 1979 BCP, and this communal expression of faith is also presented as the first option in the Rite 1 eucharistic liturgy. The Rite 1 eucharistic liturgy also offers the "I believe" form as a second option (see BCP, pp. 326-327, 358).[2]

The Athanasian Creed

Statement of faith dating from the fourth or fifth centuries. It is also known by its opening Latin words as the Quicunque Vult, "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith." The creed is attributed to St. Athanasius (296-373), but this attribution has generally been discounted since the Athanasian Creed includes doctrinal expressions that appeared only in later theological controversies. It was considered to express the faith that Athanasius taught. It is unlike other standard creeds because of its length and its anathemas against those who would deny its doctrines. The creed emphasizes the triune nature of God and the Incarnation. Although it was used in the Church of England on certain principal feasts of the church year, the Athanasian Creed was never appointed for liturgical use in the Episcopal Church. It is published as one of the Historical Documents of the Church in the 1979 BCP (pp. 864-865).[3]  Click on The Athanasian Creed.

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