In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (the Mass) and in other prayer services, Episcopalians and Anglicans stand and affirm our faith in the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds. These two ancient statements of faith declare the core mysteries which our church has been affirming, and trying to understand, since the Resurrection of Christ.
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.
The Apostle’s Creed
I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
At the heart of both of our creeds is the life of Jesus Christ. As Christians we believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet and teacher that was put to death by the Roman authorities, miraculously rose from the grave three days later. The Resurrection of Jesus confirmed for his loyal followers that he was no ordinary prophet, but was in fact the son of God and the Messiah. Our lives as Christians are centered around this proclamation: that Jesus Christ, the son of God, died and rose again.
As Anglicans in the catholic tradition, we believe in the power of tradition to transform and shape our lives. Our worship and our theology were not created by one individual, or even a single generation, but are the result of centuries of Christ’s followers striving to live out their faith. We believe that the Holy Scriptures (or the Bible) is the divinely-inspired record of God’s faithful people. It is, for us, a record of God’s abiding love for a broken and sinful world. We believe that the Christ we follow becomes truly present to us through his body and blood: the bread and the wine that are offered at the altar, and we maintain that this great sacrament, instituted by Christ himself, must be celebrated with the utmost dignity and respect. We believe that by sharing in Christ’s death, through baptism and partaking of his body and blood in Holy Communion, that we will also share in his resurrection from the dead. Our lives are meant to be lived as citizens of the Kingdom of God, which begins in this world but doesn’t end in this world.
While we maintain the authority of the historic creeds of the Church and the Church’s Holy Scriptures, we also recognize that there is a diversity of opinion on how some of these are to be interpreted. While the Bible preserves for us the tale of God’s saving love, and how God’s people have responded to that love, it does not always directly answer every question we may have about daily living. In fact, sometimes the Bible creates even more questions. Anglicans have long since recognized that it is possible for people of sincere faith to sincerely disagree on some issues. In our parish, as in many Anglican parishes, you will find people with different opinions about politics, gender, and sexuality. You will find people of different races, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and political stripes. Our approach as a church is not to settle every dispute or to answer every question, but to focus on that which unifies us and ultimately saves us: the life of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.