Sunday, August 26, 2018

Your Faith Through the Creeds

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The introduction to “A Modern Liturgy for the Holy Eucharist as used at Saint Catherine’s Church, Port Coquitlam, BC at the Family Service” (circa 1979) [1] included the following reflection on the Nicene and Apostles Creeds:
We shall, however, say the ecumenical version of the Creed as produced by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and ratified at Constantinople in 381 A.D.  
The Eastern Orthodox Churches have always faulted Western Christians for arbitrary changes in the wording of the Ecumenical Creed of the Undivided Church.
With due respect then for historical accuracy, this ‘new English version’ of the Nicene Creed lets us recite it in its original form.  Hence the verbal changes to “We believe” and the omission of the phrase “and the Son” (in Latin, filioque).
The so-called Apostles’ Creed uses the personal pronoun “I” because this statement of faith originated solely in the West as part of the examination of candidates for baptism.

Over the years St. Catherine’s has used “modern language” versions of both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, although for some time we have rarely used the Nicene Creed.  More recently we have experimented with different affirmations of our faith.
Starting on September 9, 2018, interested persons will have an opportunity to explore various expressions of the Creed during four weekly discussion sessions.  Chris Longley, a graduate of Education for Ministry will lead the discussion group.

[1]In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Anglican Church was working to update or replace the Book of Common Prayer, as other denominations worked to renew their liturgies.  The International Consultation on English Texts produced modern language texts for the Gloria in Excelsis, Lord’s Prayer, Nicene Creed, Apostle’s Creed, etc.  This work culminated in 1985 with the production of the Book of Alternative Services, which we use today.  However, it was a slow and sometimes process that entailed 14 years of experimentation.  In 1979, Anglican Church leaders reached a compromise that would allow all congregations to use a clarified Tudor English form of the service, a contemporary English form, or both.  From 1982 to 1985 St. Catherine’s used a “Blue Booklet” and a “Yellow Booklet,” which contained a “Modern Liturgy” based on a proposed revision of the traditional Tudor English service.