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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > C > Liturgical Use of Creeds

Liturgical Use of Creeds

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The public use of creeds began in connection with baptism, in the Traditio and Redditio symboli, as a preparation for that sacrament, and in the preliminary interrogations. This use is found as early as the "Canons" of Hippolytus and the "Catecheses" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and is so universal as to be probably of still earlier date. (Cf. Acts 8:37) The recitation of the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed at the Eucharist seems to have begun, according to Theodore the Reader, at Antioch under Peter the Fuller in 471 (though James of Edessa says that it was adopted as soon as it was composed), and to have been adopted at Constantinople by the Patriarch Timotheus in 511. Both intended to protest, as Monophysites, against Chalcedonian "innovations", but in spite of this heretical origin the practice spread, though Rome did not finally adopt it until the eleventh century. The Nicene Creed is the only one in use in the Eastern Churches, whether Orthodox, Monophysite, or Nestorian, or in the corresponding Uniat bodies, though the East Syrians, both Nestorian and Uniat have a variant of their own (see EAST SYRIAN RITE) which may have been originally understood in a Nestorian sense, and the Copts and Abyssinians have also a shortened form for use at baptism. The Roman Rite, besides the Nicene Creed, which it recites only at Mass, uses also the Apostles' Creed and the so-called Athanasian. These three creeds have been retained in the Anglican Rite. The following is the use of creeds in various rites:



All rites use the Nicene Creed, though in different positions, as part of the declaration of fellowship (of which the Kiss of Peace is another part) with which the Missa Fidelium begins. This aspect is removal of the Pax to another position. The positions are:

The divine office

Other uses

Other uses of creeds are:

About this page

APA citation. Jenner, H. (1908). Liturgical Use of Creeds. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Jenner, Henry. "Liturgical Use of Creeds." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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