The Nicene Creed is the church’s statement of belief, spoken by Christians across centuries and throughout the world.
The origins of the creed date to the first centuries of the early church when it was struggling to define itself and to explain who Christ was and particularly who Christ was in relation to God.
The creed first came together when the early fathers of the church gathered at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD to address perceived heresies that were circulating among the Christian communities. Nicea and later councils, notably those at Constantinople in 381, Ephesus in 431, and Chalcedon in 451 affirmed that Christ was fully God and fully human, and was “of one being with the Father.” The creed has remained virtually unchanged since then.
The Nicene Creed as found in The Book of Common Prayer
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.
(BCP, pp. 358-359)
This study below explores the creed both as an expression and symbol of our faith and belief and as a a prayer that what we believe and see may be realized in our own lives, personally and corporately.
This study is written by the Rev. Mike Marsh, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Uvalde, Texas.
Session I – Repetitious Believing
Session II – Who Believes? Sometimes I Do. Other Times We Do.
Session III – Communal Believing
Session IV – Five Things We Believe about God
Session V – The Scandal of Being Human
Session VI – We Believe in the Life-giving Spirit
Session VII – We Do Not Believe in the Nicene Creed