Amen Corner - February 28, 2021
This I Believe, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization that encourages people from all walks of life to write, share, and discuss essays about their core beliefs. Selected essays were heard on National Public Radio for a few years and then carried on satellite and public radio shows for several years following. Many essays can be read on thisIbelieve.org, or heard on a weekly podcast. The project was based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow. Murrow created the series at a time when America was divided and worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial tensions. He hoped that hearing the core beliefs of others would help Americans come together by finding common ground.
As we profess our faith in the Creed at Mass, we state the common ground of our beliefs. Though we come from many cultures and backgrounds and pursue varied livelihoods and recreational activities, our unity is apparent as we profess our common beliefs in the Creed.
The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, meaning “I believe.” Credo may be derived from a word that means “trust” or “to give trust.” As we profess the Creed, we utter the beliefs in which we have entrusted ourselves.
The first creeds came in the form of a question-and-answer dialogue with those who were about to be baptized. This type of dialogue is still carried out before Baptism as well as with the entire community in the renewal of baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. Proclaimed just prior to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Creed sums up the faith heard in the readings and reminds the assembly of their unity before they process to the banquet of the Lord.
The Nicene Creed, the creed most often proclaimed during Mass, is a combination of the creeds that originated at the Council of Nicaea (325) and the Council of Constantinople (381). The Apostles’ Creed, formerly reserved for Masses with children, also may be said at Mass, especially during Easter Time.
This weekend at the 8am and 2pm Masses, our community will be sharing—handing on—the creed to our Elect, those who will be baptized at Easter. As the Creed is professed, may we become a people united in faith, hope, and love for the life of the world.