English translation of
Credo - the Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father, by Whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried: And the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven. He sitteth at the right hand of the Father: and He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead: and His kingdom shall have no end: And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the prophets. And one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Click here for the Latin lyrics.
The Nicene Creed was formulated in the 4th century, to affirm the totality of the Catholic Faith. None of the heretics of the time would be able to say this creed, which denied the basic tenets of their heresies. It became a test of orthodoxy in doctrine (or you could say Catholicity) - if you did not profess the entire Faith as the Church teaches, you were known to be a heretic - because denying one doctrine of the Faith indeed causes all the others to unravel. The Faith is a cohesive whole.
We sing this entire hymn during Mass, or at least follow along with the Priest, thinking it to be a beautiful prayer but not realizing what some of the words cost. A few words, like Filioque and consubstantialem were hotly debated between faithful Catholic bishops and the multitude of heretics that existed, such as the followers of Arianism, Docetism, Donatism, Monophysitism, Nestorianism, Pelagianism, etc. Many good Catholics suffered much to preserve the truth, and these key words became the dividing point between Catholics and heretics/schismatics. Some heretics professed that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son as well as the Father, so the insertion of Filoque "and the Son" was anathema to them. Others had issue with consubstantialem, which means "of the same substance", because they believed that Christ was not equal to the Father.
So as you recite or sing the Nicene Creed, remember that for centuries men have had to fight valiantly for the Faith, which was often the occasion of great suffering.
This is found on the following CD(s):
Chant Compendium 4.
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