The word "creed" comes from the opening word in Latin, "Credo", meaning "I believe". It summarises what are the essential beliefs of a Christian, and what each Christian professes to believe at every Sunday Eucharist.
What does it teach?
1. About God
a. The Trinity
God is one and three - there are three persons within the godhead, what we call THE TRINITY:
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have always existed and are the cause of all creation. "The whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal." in creation: the Father is the originator, the Son gives the reason for it, and the Spirit makes it all possible as His stirring enabled firstly the dilation of the heavens above, and secondly the contraction of the lower firmament in the uniting of earth and waters.
b. The Father
He is the source and organiser of all life.
c. The Son is begotten of the Father.
d. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
2. About Redemption
The second person of the Trinity, the Son was sent to earth in order to redeem man, who originally had been made as the crowning glory of God's creation and with the potential to everlasting life. However he chose to use his free-will and disobey God's command, and thus estranged himself to God. To restore the relationship God became incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.
Christmas celebrates His birth : "Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given."
Easter Day celebrates Christ's triumph over death. "He is risen, he is risen! Tell it out with joyful voice: he has burst his three days' prison." The resurrection and Ascension of Christ has opened heaven's gate to all believers.
Good Friday - Our Lord Jesus Christ lived in complete obedience to the Father's will that brought Him to Calvary in order to restore all creation to its original blessedness, including us.
3. SANCTIFICATION All life is sustained by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit within us which prays and helps us to do the will of the Father. That is why we must pray each morning for the Holy Spirit, who is the love of our souls to teach, direct and show us what to do and then to give us the grace to do it.
4. THE HOLY CATHOLIC & APOSTOLIC CHURCH. The Church is Christ's body in this world. The Church's birthday is often said to be at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ, was poured out apon those disciples who had waited in Jerusalem for this and to those who were baptised after hearing Peter preach to them. From the preaching and missionary endeavours as outlined in Acts and in the Pastoral letters there emerged over time towards the end of the first century a ministry that is often called apostolic and episcopal. The four Ecumenical councils held in the fourth and fifth centuries safeguarded the Catholic Faith against heresies.. That teaching is what we recite in the Creed.
5. THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS Once we have been baptized we are a saint in the making. and our pilgrimage here on earth should be a journey towards perfection to fit us for heaven. However when we usually think of the communion of saints our thoughts go to those already in heaven who have fought the good fight here on earth and who now with the angels glorify God unceasingly with their praises. Our prayer is that we shall join them one day to enjoy the beatific vision for ever.
6. THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS Christ died that we might be forgiven of our sins., knowing we are made righteous through Him.. This means that we can now approach the mercy seat of God to seek His forgiveness for the sins we truly confess and repent of. It is an examination we should undertake at the end of each day, and we should never go to sleep without a prayer of contrition when we tell God how sorry we are of our sins, especially against Him. Ideally we should also use the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation regularly to be helped in our spiritual journey. Forgiveness of sins also involves forgiving others of their sins against us. "How often must I forgive my brother? "Until seventy times seven ." It has been said that forgiveness is the heart of the Gospel.
7. THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY On the last day when the trumpet shall sound we shall all be raised.from our graves if we have been faithful.
8. LIFE EVERLASTING We believe that when we die life goes on into a more glorious one in the nearer presence of God. "Life is changed not taken away." So how we live in this life is very important. None is perfect and so before we can go to heaven we have to be refined like silver. That is what we call purgatory.