“The AbbeyChurch” lives its life as part of the creedal church tradition. Creed comes from the Latin word credere (credo), meaning ‘believe’ and is perhaps better translated as ‘trust’.
To sing or chant or say the Creeds is to participate in a radical, communal, counter cultural act of trust in someone bigger than ourselves.
No matter how we might struggle with some of their precepts, the Creeds give us something – a story, a grand narrative – to bounce against and wrestle with.
In our community, which is ecumenical, we draw on several different creeds in our worship, including the very ancient Apostles’ Creed and the more recent New Creed.
Here are these two creeds which, in differing ways, tell the cosmic ‘story’ of our ancient faith in the Triune God:
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God,
the *Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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. Amen.
* With the understanding that God is neither male nor female, some may wish to interpret “Father” as “Loving, strong Parent”.
A New Creed
We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus,
Crucified and Risen, our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
* * *
In the words of Michael Ramsay, “the [creeds]… emerge in the life of the Church as sign-posts of the historic events and to the general experience of Christians as against speculative tendencies which would ignore both.”
It’s important to note that “the Creeds are not in themselves the Christian Faith; Christians do not ‘believe in the Creeds,’ but, with the Creeds to help them, they believe in God.” (Michael Ramsay) and “…the Church adheres to the Creeds not with a view to foreclosing thought and inquiry, but because Creeds point away from the dogmatisms of each modern age in its turn to the freedom of the Gospel of God.” (Michael Ramsay).