The Apostles Creed is often referred to as our baptismal creed. In the second video you will learn of its connection to baptism. A creed is a statement of faith and is defined in the dictionary as 1: a brief authoritative formula of religious belief. 2: a set of fundamental beliefs, also a guiding principle. The word creed itself comes from the Latin ‘credo’ which comes directly from the Apostles Creed which begins Credo in Deum Patrem, I believe in God the Father. You have heard this creed said during Church services and encountered it in the earlier page “Renewing our Baptismal Vows.” At your Confirmation the Bishop will ask you if you believe this.
The following video is a recitation of the creed.
These are the words but how did this creed come into existence? In its exact words it isn’t a quote from scripture. Yet, the basis for everything we say in it can be found in scripture. The following video explains some of the background.
While the maker of this video left out the phrase “He descended to the dead” please remember that we do include it. We believe that Jesus, on the cross, really did die and the same thing happened to Him that happened to all who had died before Him until that incredible moment on the third day when he rose from the dead and began to appear to his disciples. It is in remembering this central fact of Jesus’ death that Easter, his resurrection, becomes so important and transforms both life and death. It is what allows us in the funeral liturgy to say “All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song.”
When we see the Apostles Creed in printed form we notice that it appears to be in three paragraphs and this number is very significant. The “I believe…” statement includes what we believe about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We describe this as the Holy Trinity.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is considered so important that the ninth Sunday after Easter is observed as Trinity Sunday. It is the Sunday following the Feast of the Pentecost, the time we mark the fulfillment of Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit. You may have worshipped in Churches named Holy Trinity or Trinity. The following video actually shows some of your fellow Anglicans about to be confirmed in an Anglican Church in a part of the world where it takes a great deal of courage to be an Anglican and where some have been killed just for going to Church.
So what is the Holy Trinity? There have been many arguments about this in the history of the Church but it is clear that even in the earliest days of the Church there was a recognition that we experience God in three ways. At the very end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus last recorded words to the eleven Apostles were as follows:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The following video is a simple introduction to a very complex idea.
We will come back to considering the Holy Trinity after we have looked at the Nicene Creed in the next online session.
If you have any questions in the meantime e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me (No calls on my cell, please, but texting is fine.) at 647-262-3958.