How to Teach the Apostles' Creed
Both the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed sum up what Christianity believes in and teaches. The Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and a few mainline Protestant churches, such as the Anglican (Episcopalian) church recite the creeds during Mass or service.
Teach the background to the creeds.The creeds were composed to combat the arian heresy. The 'arian heresy's named after a bishop named Arius, who had denied the Divinity of both Christ and the Holy Spirit.
- The Catholic and the Orthodox Churches split in the 10th century, over the Nicene Creed. Originally, the Nicene Creed, when addressing the role of the Holy Spirit, only said that He "proceeds from the Father." The Pope added "and the Son," to this statement, which angered the Orthodox Patriarch. To this day, while Catholics say that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son," the Orthodox say that He "proceeds from the Father."
Teach the actual words to The Apostles Creed.These are as set out next:
- I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth. This statement teaches that God is Created us, and is therefore, Our Heavenly Father.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. This statement teaches that the Lord Jesus is Both the Son of God and the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- He suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. This teaches that Christ is Both our Merciful Saviour and our Just Judge.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. This teaches that the Holy Spirit Sanctifies both the Church and each and everyone of us individually.
Teach the words to The Nicene Creed.These are as follows:
- We believe in One God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. This teaches us that even things which the human eye which cannot see are Created by Our Heavenly Father.
- 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, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For our sakes and our salvation He came down from Heaven; by the Power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake, He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of 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. This teaches us that Christ Is the One True God Incarnate. It teaches us that He Is Both the Son Of the Holy Spirit and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that His Death brings us all Eternal Salvation, and at the end of time He Will Judge us and Bring the righteous into Heaven.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. This statement teaches that the Holy Spirit Is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and that all Prophets, Apostles, and Saints have received their Messages from God Through Him.
- 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. This statement teaches us that we are all one Holy Church. We are all a unity in the Body Of Christ.
Practice the words with your pupil or class together.Have students recite sections until they can say the words by heart.
Give rewards for succeeding in remembering all the words.Only do so where appropriate, but even praise is a good source of motivation.
Video: The Apostle's Creed - Memorizing for Children's Ministry
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