What We Believe
The Nicene Creed is a confession of our Christian faith. According to Holy Tradition, the Apostle’s Creed was composed on Pentecost by the twelve apostles. The creed contains twelve articles of Faith, each one written by one of the apostles.
When members of the Church began to teach incorrect or heretical opinions, it became necessary to elaborate on the Creed, based on the teaching of our Lord, which would refute false teachings and guard against them. The Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325 AD) adopted this Creed and it was completed at the subsequent Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople (381 AD) and Ephesus (431 AD).
The Creed was first used during the rite of the sacrament of Baptism. In 215 A.D., the Church Father and historian Hippolytus, in his work entitled the Apostolic Tradition, recorded that the Creed was recited in its entirety during the sacrament of Baptism. The Creed came to be used in the Divine Liturgy late in the fifth century. The purpose of placing it there was to prevent deviations of the faithful from the Orthodox faith.
The Creed is followed by an anathema, which refutes the heretical teachings. The historical value of the anathema is it indicates the false doctrines that were in existence during the early days of the Church. St. Gregory the Illuminator abridged the Creed by adding a doxology, which appears following the Anathema. A doxology is a short expression of praise or thanksgiving to God.
The saying of the last word of the Creed, “Amen”, is postponed in the Armenian Divine Liturgy until after the doxology of Saint Gregory.
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father. God of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten and not made; himself of the nature of the Father, by whom all things came into being in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate, became man, was born perfectly of the holy virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. By whom he took body, soul and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.
He suffered and was crucified and was buried.
And rose again on the third day.
And ascended into heaven with the same body and sat at the right hand of the Father.
He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there is no end.
We believe also in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated and the perfect, who spake in the law in and in the prophets and in the gospels. Who came down upon the Jordan, preached to the apostles and dwelt in the saints.
We believe also in the only One Catholic and Apostolic Holy Church.
In one baptism of repentance for the remission and forgiveness of sins.
In the resurrection of the dead,
In the everlasting judgment of souls and bodies, in the kingdom of heaven and in the life eternal. Amen.
“As for those who say there was a time when the Son was not or there was a time when the Holy Spirit was not or that they came into being out of nothing or who say that the Son of God or the Holy Spirit be of different substance and that they be changeable or alterable, such doth the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematize.”
Doxology of St. Gregory
As for us we shall glorify Him was before the ages, worshipping the Holy Trinity and the One God-head, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.