The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Entering the City: The Twelve Gates of the Apostles’ Creed

Authored by Stratford Caldecott in Issue #31.2 of The Sower
In this article Stratford Caldecott explores the faith by which we enter the twelve-gated City of Revelation, the faith that is the beginning of that Light by which we will see what the City contains, and above all the Lamb enthroned at its centre. The first official summary (or ‘symbol,’ as it was called) of the Christian faith was a simple affirmation: Jesus is Lord. We find this in the Gospels and the Letters of Saint Paul. What we know as the Apostles’ Creed is a slightly later summary, enabling Christians to affirm not only their faith in Christ, but some of the main implications of that faith. Most Christians are also familiar with the so-called Creed of Nicaea, which is later and more elaborate still, being designed to refute the various christological heresies (i.e. mistakes about the nature of Christ) that had arisen in the early centuries of faith. A Creed is more than a summary of faith, of what is to be believed. Like Scripture, it has a liturgical character. To recite it in the context of the liturgy is a ritual action, a celebration that aligns us with its divine source, making us receptive to grace. As Martin Mosebach puts it, the Creed ‘considered as a liturgical prayer, is not a collection of dogmas that were defined at various councils (and some of which were imposed by main force) but a means whereby the individual plunges once again into the purifying freshness of baptism, the presence of the communion of saints, the Church-creating power of the Holy Trinity.’[i]

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