Back to Creeds

It is not only the official creeds which state belief. Churches are constantly reciting belief in other ways during worship.


Take your hymn book and have a look at hymns 133, 225 and 532. What are these if not credal songs? There are also other modern creed hymns, like the one we have sung sometimes on Sundays, printed on page 146 of the black Common Worship service book: “We believe in God the Father….”, which we have sung to “Ode to joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.


Take your Bible and see how the first Christians started to formulate creeds very early on. Philippians 2:6-11 is a famous example, believed to be an ancient credal hymn itself.


Take your Book of Common Prayer1 and find the central  canticle in Morning Prayer – which many will remember from their younger days at sung matins: “Te Deum Laudamus” [as the Latin has it] – “We praise thee O God”. At first sight it is a hymn of praise, but after the majestic, praising opening, it settles into a very creed-like section: “….doth acknowledge thee the Father of an infinite majesty; thine honourable, true and only son; also the Holy Ghost, the comforter….” … and so on.


Take any worship book and look at the services for Baptisms and Confirmations – and find those responses which candidates, or their parents and godparents, must make2. The declaration of faith is always based on an expression of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – a Trinitarian formula of Christian belief.


Look at your service card for our normal communion services – and read through, to yourself, the “Eucharistic Prayer”, which normally only the priest recites. Notice it includes a recitation of God’s “saving acts”3.


Apart from the above, look at the extra examples of affirmations of faith available to us for our services from time to time – in the Common Worship book pages 144-148.

Creeds 8: other statements of belief