Father Matthew Buettner: The Creed: Stating our beliefs
Following the Liturgy of the Word and the homily or sermon are the Profession of Faith and the General Intercessions, completing the Liturgy of the Word.
The Profession of Faith is otherwise known as the Symbol of Faith or simply the Creed (from the first word in Latin, "Credo," or "I believe").
The Creed is an ancient summary of Christian beliefs, and a compendium of the truths of Sacred Scripture.
It is historical fact that the Profession of Faith was not originally formulated for use in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Rather, the Profession of Faith was framed in the early Church for two purposes: 1) As a list of affirmations recited by the believer before his or her baptism, and 2) as an antidote to the confusion and doubt caused by heresy (false teachings) about Christ and the articles of faith.
The Apostles' Creed was one of the earliest and most concise set of beliefs. However, due to rampant heresy and theological confusion, the elements of each symbol of faith were elaborated and given further explanation. Thus, the Church used the Apostles' Creed as a basis for the list of truths at the Council of Nicaea in 325, added to it at the Council of Constantinople in 381, and crafted the final composition at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
It was this more explicit symbol of faith that first entered the Mass at the Council of Toledo in Spain in 589: "Let the Creed resound, so that the true faith may be declared in song, and that the souls of believers, in accepting that faith, may be ready to partake, in Communion, of the Body and Blood of Christ." From Spain, the entrance of the Creed in the Mass spread to Western Europe, where it was eventually placed after the Gospel.
Like the Gloria, the Profession of Faith can be divided into three parts: 1) A confession of faith in God the Father, as creator of heaven and earth; 2) A confession of faith in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God; and 3) A confession of faith in the means of salvation, supplied by the Holy Spirit through the Church.
These three parts of the Creed unite to form a body of truths that establish the foundation of orthodox (true) Christian faith and, ultimately, give witness to the marvelous history of God's redemptive love. Below is the revised translation of the Creed (wording changes are bolded), which can be sung or recited:
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through Him all things were made.
For us men and for all salvation
He came down from heaven, (all bow during these words up to and including "and became man")
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
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.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Following the Creed, the faithful speak on behalf of the Church in interceding for the needs of the Church and the world. It is important to note that the General Intercessions are by definition "general," that is, they refer to the broad needs of the universal Church and the world. By definition, they are also petitions, rather than prayers of thanksgiving or praise. The Church orders the sequence of intercessions: For the needs of the Church, for public authorities and the salvation of the world, for those oppressed by any need, and for the local community, including the faithful departed. The General Intercessions or "Bidding Prayers" close the Liturgy of the Word and complete our verbal response to the Word of God. But the Mass is not ended.
The Word must again become "flesh and dwell among us." The one, true sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the High Priest, must again be presented, in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Father Matthew Buettner is the pastor of St. Dorothy Church in Lincolnton. This is excerpted from "Understanding the Mystery of the Mass – Revisited," available for purchase online at www.tedeumfoundation.org. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of land for a future seminary in the Diocese of Charlotte. Previous columns are archived online at www.catholicnewsherald.com.
Father Shawn O'Neal: In this debate, remember Church teaching on human rightsAs a means to develop a comprehensive plan to reform our nation's current immigration system, a group of senators has introduced legislation formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."...
Father Matthew Buettner: Radical ChristianityRecently, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Three young people died in the explosion, including an 8-year-old boy who received his first Holy Communion just 11 months ago. Along with these...
The Poor Clares: Joy and sacrificeSt. Paul was a man passionate with zeal and consumed by love for God and desire for the salvation of souls. His actions and words were geared toward one purpose: the claiming of souls from the dominion of the devil, and the deceit used by him...
Brian Williams:The honest 411 on Vatican III recently had the opportunity to take a class about the Second Vatican Council offered through a diocesan adult education program. While much was covered within a relatively short span of four classes, one subject occupied much of our time...
William L. Esser IV: Love and 'gay marriage'It's always best to get your disclaimer on the table early, so here is mine: I'm a lawyer, I love my Catholic faith, and I love my country. So it should come as no surprise that I have been following the recent "gay marriage" cases before the...
Peggy Bowes: Be the stranger"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." — Blanche DeBois, "A Streetcar Named Desire" I was quietly praying the rosary, holding a "Pray to Stop Abortion" sign outside Planned Parenthood in Winston-Salem, when a delivery truck...
Deacon James Toner: On Christian RealismWe Catholics often find ourselves trying to chart a wise and balanced course between justice and mercy, between solemnity and a touch of appropriate humor, between the classical and the contemporary. So it is with the law of love and the fact...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Warrior saints are found throughout historyRegarding the April 26 letter criticizing St. Nicholas of Flue, I am disgusted that an American would insinuate that a soldier who distinguishes himself or herself in combat is not following...
Who would be worthy?In a letter in the April 26 Catholic News Herald, St. Nicholas of Flue was referred to as someone who "did not follow those teachings" of Christ because he defended the faith with his sword and...
St. Peregrine is a model to followI greatly admire the saints. The stories of youthful saints speak powerfully to me and never fail to captivate me; since I am 15, I can relate particularly to them. When I read the article about...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy