Should I Recite the Apostle's Creed?
As part of our "Ask Pastor Dave" blog post series, a parishioner wrote in to ask...
"Why do we recite the Apostle’s Creed in worship? It states, “I believe in the….holy catholic church and ….saints.” I don’t believe in those so I am wondering whether I should join in, or simply pray by myself."
The Creed is one of the oldest summary statements we have about the faith, and it has been used for years to teach newcomers to the faith, as well as to proclaim what we believe.
The Apostles' Creed refers to “the holy catholic church” (the Nicene Creed refers to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” I like that better). This is not the church with headquarters in Rome (“The Roman Catholic Church” — note the upper case letters). The word “catholic” means “universal,” and refers to all people in the world who believe in Christ.
The other phrase you mention, “the communion of saints,” has a similar meaning. It refers to all who have been made clean by the forgiveness that Christ offers. We believe that all who trust in Christ are saints, because Christ has made us perfect in God's eyes. (See Romans 1:7, 1st Corinthians 2:2, Ephesians 1:1, etc.)
So when we are making those two statements we are expressing an understanding of the unity we share with all those who, throughout the world and throughout time, have believed in Christ.
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