The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed is the authoritative summary of the Faith. In the liturgy it serves as our assent to the faith expressed in God’s Word

The Nicene Creed was written by the Church in the fourth century in response to the Arian heresy. The Arians said that Jesus is part of the Creation. The Church said. No! Jesus is part of the Creator. The essential distinction is between made (the Creation) and begotten (the Son of God). The begetting of the Son by the Father is referred to as “The Eternal Generation of the Son.” To use an ancient phrase There never was a time when the Son was not.”

The Nicene Creed identifies Jesus as the agent of creation: “By whom all things were made.” Romans 1:25 defines idol worship as the worship of the creation instead of the creator. It would be wrong to worship Jesus unless he is God. The Nicene Creed also affirms the divinity of the Holy Ghost. Thus the Creed sets forth our Trinitarian faith. The Nicene Creed also teaches us that Jesus is genuinely human (“And was made man”). Thus, it asserts the two foundational doctrines of the faith. God is Trinity. And Jesus is fully God and fully man.

The third paragraph extends belief in the Holy Ghost to belief in the Church, which the Holy Ghost created (Acts 2). The true Faith is the Catholic and Apostolic Faith into which the Holy Ghost led the Church (John 16:13).

*Bow at the name of Jesus (cf. Philippians 2:10).

**Genuflect (or bow) to acknowledge that Jesus humbled himself to be made man (cf. Philippians 2:5-7).

***Rise to acknowledge that the exaltation of Jesus came on the cross (John 3:14).

****Bow to acknowledge that we worship the Holy Ghost because he also is God.

+ The sign of the cross is made at the end of the Creed. This is an outward acknowledgment that one accepts the truth just recited. The sign of the cross is the most ancient Christian gesture of worship. It is recorded that the early Christians made the sign of the cross as they witnessed the deaths of the martyrs.

The sign of the cross is made by touching the finger tips in succession to the forehead, chest, left shoulder, right shoulder and back to the chest.