The Creed: Who Proceedeth From the Father, Who With the Father and the Son Together is Worshipped and Glorified

God the Holy Spirit, like God the Son, existed from all eternity with the Father. In fact, all three always work together. Consider the Creation of the world, as described in Genesis 1:1-3 and in John 1: 1-3, where St. John refers to the Son as “the Word.” God (the Father) fills the Creation; He creates through His Word, the Son; and the Holy Spirit enlivens and sustains creation.

Not one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity was created; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have existed together from eternity. We glorify the Trinity each time we make the sign of the cross by praising, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…” We sing that the Trinity is “one in essence, and undivided.” It is a mystery that one God can be three Persons, and that three Persons can remain as one God.

“Originally, the Holy Fathers… stated that the Holy Spirit ‘proceeds from the Father.’ Later the Western Church arbitrarily inserted the words ‘and from the Son,’ [also called the filioque clause] meaning that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son… The Orthodox Church has preserved the Nicene Creed in its original form… for the following reasons: First, the Ecumenical Councils forbade any changes to be introduced into the Creed except by another Ecumenical Council. the Creed belongs to the whole Church and one small part of the church has no right to change it. Secondly, the Orthodox believe the filioque to be theologically untrue… Orthodoxy has always taught what the Bible teaches: Christ sends the Spirit but the Spirit proceeds from the Father. This preserves the unity in the Godhead…” (Coniaris, “The Nicene Creed for Young People,” p. 63)

Try this: Look at the Trinity icon (or “The Hospitality of Abraham”). This icon represents the Trinity in the form of the three angels who visited Abraham and Sarah. Read the account in Genesis 18: 1-15. Talk about the icon as you observe it. Point out the following: the Trinity sits side by side as equals around one table, united peacefully in their purpose, since they are of one mind and one will. They form a circle and allow us to see inside this circle. This teaches that we are invited to participate, by grace, in the life of the Trinity. God created human beings to live in union with Him forever.

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