Nicene Creed (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, 381)


We believe in one God,
     the Father, the Almighty,
     maker of heaven and earth,
     of all that is,
     seen and unseen.

 We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
     the only Son of God,
     eternally begotten of the Father,
     God from God, Light from Light,
     true God from true God,
     begotten, not made,
     of one Being with the Father;
     through him all things were made.
     For us and for our salvation
         he came down from heaven,
         was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
         and became truly human.
         For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
         he suffered death and was buried.
         On the third day he rose again
         in accordance with the Scriptures;
         he ascended into heaven
         and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
         He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
         and his kingdom will have no end.

 We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
     who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],*
     who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
     who has spoken through the prophets.
     We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
     We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
     We look for the resurrection of the dead,
     and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Background: In A.D. 381, the second ecumenical council met in Constantinople. It response to theMacedonian or Pneumatomachian heresy, which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit, this council adopted a revised and expanded form of theA.D. 325 creed, now known as the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed is the most ecumenical of creeds.

* In contrast to Eastern Orthodox churches, the western churches state that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but from the Father and the Son (Latin, filioque). Eastern churches believed that when the West insisted upon the filioque, it failed to secure the full equality of the Spirit. By contrast, trinitarian theology in the West, influenced by Augustine, considered the Holy Spirit to be the caritatis, or bond of love, between the Father and the Son, thereby securing the unity of the Trinity. This issue remains unresolved in the ecumenical dialogue.