What is the Nicene Creed? Why is it important?
One of the oldest prayers in Christianity, the Creed was drawn up by the Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (325 A.D.) and Constantinople (381 A.D.). The word “creed” comes from “credo,” the Latin word for “I believe.” The creed is the core of Orthodox Christianity: it is the definition of our Faith, the statement of the essence of what we believe. Sometimes the Creed is referred to as “The Profession (or the Symbol) of Faith.” The Creed contains the basic truths of Orthodox Christianity, and is therefore a basis for Orthodox Christian life.
“The Nicene Creed, also called the Profession of Faith, begins with ‘I believe.’ With those two words, we launch into the substance of our faith.” (The Way, the Truth, and the Life, lesson 2, p. 7.)
“Reciting the Creed is like reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ to our country, but this pledge of our faith in God is a far greater pledge than one to any country on earth. When we sing or recite the Creed during the liturgy, we are acknowledging that we accept and believe in what the Church teaches us and there is an implied pledge to uphold and witness to these teachings.” (Little Falcons issue #37, “The Creed,” p. 4.)
Try this: During the next Divine Liturgy you attend, begin to take note of how the rest of the service relates to what we say in the Creed. Encourage your students to do the same, and during Sunday Church School, talk about the connections that you all noticed!