Bread and Wine

Profession of Faith

We say a profession of faith in response to the readings of scripture and the sermon.  The Nicene Creed is an ancient statement of faith used by most Christian churches. This faith statement binds us together with Christians of all generations and across the globe. It is called the Nicene Creed because the church’s bishops crafted it in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor in 325 A.D. The Creed, in brief, tells the biblical faith story and summarizes our beliefs about God, who is, in a way that goes beyond our full understanding, one being in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The largest section focuses upon the birth, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word Christ comes from a Greek word that means anointed or chosen. It is a translation of the Hebrew word messiah. Jesus was chosen by God to reveal God’s great love for the world, to free us from the power of sin and death and all those things that limit our lives and keep us from living life in the fullness and richness which God intended for us. Through Jesus, God becomes our Father, who loves us without reservation or end, and we receive the Holy Spirit, the gift of God’s ongoing presence and power in the world and in our lives.

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic

The Creed also includes our views about the church, the body of Christ, and the life of faith. When we say that the church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic,” we confess something that Is at the same time a reality through the Holy Spirit that unites and sanctifies the faithful and is an ideal for which we long and work.

The word catholic comes from the Greek word that means universal. The Episcopal Church is part of the body of Christ that goes beyond the limits of space and time since it not only exists across the ages and around the world but also in the mind of God.

Apostolic means that we continue in the way of Jesus’ first followers, in the “apostles’ teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers,” as shown in Acts 2:42. It also means that we are sent out to proclaim the Good News of Christ. Apostle coms from a Greek word that means “sent out.” We are sent out to those who are in need physically by empowering them to live fuller lives and spiritually by bringing others to Christ, who is the full revelation of God and humanity.

The Creed ends with Amen, which indicates that it is not only a statement of beliefs, but a prayer that invites us deeper into mysteries that go beyond our understanding and into our relationship with God.

An excellent resource to learn more about the beliefs encapsulated in the Creed is the book by Luke Timothy Johnson, The Nicene Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters.

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.