The Meaning of The Apostles’ Creed

Whether it is done during liturgical celebrations, Mass, or privately, Christians praying the Apostles’ Creed are in fact professing their faith. The Apostles’ Creed, also known as the ‘Credo’ in Latin, or as the ‘Symbol of the Apostles’, is a prayer that contains the main elements of Christianity: the belief in the Holy Trinity, the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, etc.

Do you truly understand all these notions when praying the Apostles’ Creed? Let’s break it down verse by verse! 

The Apostles’ Creed Explained

The Symbol of the Apostles is composed of 12 Articles.

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth”

The notion of God the Creator is also present in the Old Testament, but this article reminds us that He is the Father as well: God the Father is an important part of the New Testament. Jesus Himself taught us the Lord’s Prayer, where we call God ‘Our Father’.

“And in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord”

Jesus is the Christ, the ‘Anointed One’, the Messiah announced in the Scriptures. We believe in Him and we believe that He is our Lord and our God: not only is Jesus the Son of God, but He is the Only Son of God, “True God from True God”. 

The notion of consubstantiality appears in the Nicene Creed, where it is said that Jesus is “born of the Father before all ages”. 

“Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit”

Jesus Christ was “begotten, not made”. This article addresses the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the divine nature of Christ: He was not made like any other human or earthly being, but He was conceived by the Father. Jesus Christ shares the same nature with God.

“Born of the Virgin Mary”

In turn, this article addresses the form of Christ as the Son of Man: Jesus Christ took on Human nature, He is God manifest in the flesh. 

“Suffered under Pontius Pilate”

This article strongly affirms the existence of Christ in our reality:

  • By mentioning Pontius Pilate, we can situate the life of Jesus in time, He becomes part of our history; the life of Jesus Christ is not a legend.

  • The suffering of Jesus Christ reminds us that He took on all the elements of human nature, enduring the suffering of the body and heart to accompany us to the end. 

“Was crucified, died, and was buried”

The Passion of Jesus is an important passage of the Bible and an essential element of faith. Jesus showed His unconditional love through His sacrifice. He saved humanity by dying on the Cross.

“He descended into Hell”

The triumphant descent of Christ into Hell, or the ‘Harrowing of Hell’ brought the salvation of all the men who had died since the beginning of time, and of those who will die in the future and until the end of times.

“He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead”

This article addresses Jesus’ Ascension to Heaven, the Second Coming and the Day of The Lord. Christ leads us to God: “ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14: 6). Jesus prepares the Kingdom of God for the believers. 

“I believe in the Holy Spirit”

We profess our faith in the third person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God’s power and energy sent to accomplish His will on earth: it has filled the Prophets (as addressed by the Nicene Creed), the Saints, and every Christian receives it on the day of Baptism.

“The Holy Catholic Church”

We state our beliefs in the Church, the Universal Body of Christ (this is the Catholic version of the Apostles' Creed. In the protestant version, the article is: “the holy universal Church).

“The communion of Saints”

Christians are not left alone with their faith. Our relationship with God is accomplished through our relationship with each other and the communion of men: Trinitariansim is also built on relationships. 

Furthermore, Christians on earth are not the only members of the Church: She assembles all the people of God, notably the Christians that preceded us.

“The resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen”

Jesus leads us to follow His steps. Death is just a passage, we are called to eternal life, where we all will be resurrected in His flesh (here, flesh has the same meaning as the one it had in the olden days: it is the essence of every being) 

Rediscover The Faith of The First Christians with Hozana!

What’s better than to explore the roots of Christianity to grow your faith? Here, with Hozana’s many spiritual programs, you can join communities to reflect on the words of the Fathers of the Churchpray with the Saints and learn to pray with the Bible!