Catholics believe that the Word of God is found not only in the Bible but also in the spoken word, which is a form referred to as the Sacred Tradition. One of the important and influential part of Sacred tradition developed then was the Creed. There are two important creeds in the Church:
1. The Apostles Creed (which begins with the rosary), is the oldest creed and forms the basis for most other creeds. It is an expression of the core beliefs held by the Catholic Church, and it gives insight into who God is and our connection to Him. It is called the Apostle’s Creed because our ancient traditions date the profession of our faith back to the Apostles themselves. It was created for the first time in Rome toward the end of the 2nd century.
2. The Nicene Creed (which is recited at Mass), was developed at the Councils of Nicaea (325 AD) and the Council of Constantinople (381 AD). It is a personal profession (“I believe”) of the core beliefs held by Catholics and reminds all of the mysteries of the Catholic faith. It also permits the faithful to respond to the Word of God that was proclaimed in the readings at Mass. The Creed is one of the four pillars of faith, along with the Ten Commandments, the seven sacraments, and the Our Father. The content of the Apostles Creed is a summary of all that Catholicism regards as divinely revealed truth. Those who wish or desire to be baptized were required to make this profession of faith before their entry into the church. This is to ensure that the new catechumens accept the core teachings of Christianity, before they were baptized. Even today, when we recite the Apostles Creed together, it is an affirmation of our agreement with the truths of Christianity contained in these words. The Apostles Creed is the foundation of our Catholic faith, and is the first part that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is founded on.
Where is The Apostles Creed Found in the Bible?
The Apostles Creed has its foundation in the Sacred Scripture: I believe in God, the Father almighty, (Mt 5 :45 &48) Creator of heaven and earth, (Gen 1: 1; Rom 1: 20) And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, (Mt 3: 17) Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, (Lk 1: 35) born of the Virgin Mary, (Lk 2: 7) suffered under Pontius Pilate, (Jn 19: 16) was crucified, died, and was buried. (Jn 19: 29 – 42) He descended into hell; (1 Pet 3: 19 – 20) on the third day He rose again from the dead, (Mt 28:1-10; Jn 20:11-18) He ascended into heaven, (Lk 24: 51) and sits at the right hand of God, (Heb 1: 3) the Father Almighty; (Mk 14: 36) from thence He shall come again (Mt 16: 27; Acts 1: 12) to judge the living and the dead. (1 Cor 15: 51-52) I believe in the Holy Spirit, (Jn 14: 16-17, 25-26; Acts 1: 7 – 8) the Holy Catholic Church, (Mt 16: 18 – 19; Eph 5: 26-27; Col 1: 24) the communion of Saints, (Lk. 15:7; Heb 12:1-2 ) the forgiveness of sins, (Jn 20: 22 – 23) the resurrection of the body, (1Cor 15: 51 – 54; 1 Thes 4: 13 – 18) and life everlasting. (1 Jn 5: 20) Amen. The Apostles’ Creed is divided into twelve articles which individually expresses our beliefs, we will look at these articles in the next edition. Stay blessed.
• Rev. Sr. Mary Judith Madueke, EHJ, is the Director of Religious Education, Archdiocese of Lagos.