From the earliest days of the Church, Christians developed short, simple summaries of the faith. These short statements became known as creeds.
The word ‘creed’ comes from the Latin word credo, meaning ‘I believe and trust’.
Two creeds in particular were developed in the early centuries of the Church, which have remained important to the Church and are regularly used in our worship today.
People who were preparing for baptism in the early centuries of the Christian Church learned a short summary of what Christians believe. One version became accepted as the Apostles’ Creed, because it was thought to include the essential teaching of the 12 apostles, Jesus’ earliest followers. It was into that faith of the apostles that Christians were, and are, baptized.
The Apostles’ Creed is therefore a summary of what the Church teaches, and of what Christians together believe, rather than a detailed statement of individual and personal belief. Saying the Creed binds Christians together as a believing community, across different traditions and practices.
As we say the Creed, we join Christians past and present, and from all over the world, in proclaiming our common faith.