Confirmation - Lesson 14

The Creed

The Creed is a summary of the Christian faith and expresses the central truths that the members of the Catholic Church believe.
The two most used creeds of the Catholic Church are the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

Lord,
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Today's Scripture

Matthew 28:19-21

Click on the Bible to find today's scripture passage or find it in your own bible at home. 

You probably don't remember your baptism. Most Catholics are baptized as a baby and their parents make the choice to have their child baptized and raised in the faith. Ask your parents:

Why did they want you to be baptized?

Reflection

Many things happened at your baptism:

  • your parents declared openly that they wanted Baptism for you and made Promises to raise you in the faith

  • you were marked with the sign of faith, the Sign of the Cross, which the priest (or deacon), your parents and your godparents traced on your forehead

  • your parents and godparents made a Profession of Faith, declaring the faith and beliefs you would be raised to believe and live

  • You wore a White Garment as a sign of Original Sin being washed away 

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  • the priest (or deacon) poured Holy Water on you and you were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

  • you were anointed with the Oil of Chrism to share in Jesus' mission, the Church's mission which means you became a member of the Church

  • your parents received a candle, lit from the Paschal Candle, the Light of Christ, on your behalf signifying the light of faith that was lit in your heart

  • you were given the Holy Spirit to help you on your Christian journey

  • and more ...

Baptism and Confirmation are very closely linked. In fact, Confirmation is a completion of the graces given to you at Baptism. At your Confirmation, you will see many of the same signs that were there at your baptism, with a few differences.

  • You will wear a White Garment as a reminder of your baptism and your desire to keep living the faith

  • The Bishop will sprinkle Holy Water on you 

  • You will make the Sign of the Cross on yourself

  • You will make a Profession of Faith and you will renew the Baptismal Promises your parents made on your behalf

  • The Pachal Candle (also called the Christ Candle) will be lit and be visible in the Church

  • You will again be anointed with the Oil of Chrism which will strengthen you to live the faith

  • The Holy Spirit will be stirred up in you

  • PLUS ...

  • You will receive a greater outpouring of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

As a Church, the baptized Profess our common Faith (the faith of our baptism) every week when we pray the Creed. Professing our faith often reminds us of what we believe and, when said with thought, inspires us to live the faith we believe in. It is important that you understand the faith you profess every Sunday and that you will profess openly at your Confirmation.

The word "Creed" comes from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe". The Creed is the summary of our whole Faith. Having a fixed formula for the Faith allows Catholics worldwide, to profess the same Faith as passed on by Jesus. The Creed gives us a set of beliefs that build the foundation of the faith Christ passed on to the apostles.

 

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, leaving the apostles to continue His mission on earth through the Church, he gave the apostles a mission. The Creed comes from this command to baptize that we heard about in the Gospel of Matthew. The profession of faith has always been a necessary part of baptism. All the way back to the time of the apostles, any time a person desired to be baptized, they were first instructed in the faith and then had to profess openly this faith they believed and were being baptized into. It is not something to take lightly.

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THE CREED

3:25 min.

The Creed

The Creed is divided into three parts. The first part refers to God the Father and His wonderful work of creation. The second part refers to God the Son, His divinity and His work of redemption. The third part of the Creed speaks of God the Holy Spirit, His origin and His relationship with the Father and the Son.

 

There are two Creeds that you are probably familiar with: the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Apostles’ Creed was written as the summary of the apostles’ faith in the early Church. The Nicene Creed was written later on in response to some confusion about what the Church teaches. It is longer and includes more details, especially about Jesus' true nature as fully God and fully human.

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Apostles' Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

This means we as Christians believe God is the One who created the universe and all that is in it—including us!

  • We affirm faith in one and only one God.

  • We call on God in faith, and we abandon our lives to his providential care.

  • We surrender our lives to God.

  • We promise to love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul.

  • We affirm that we are disciples and that we are in relationship with God.

Believing in one God has huge consequences for the way we live our lives.

  • We come to know God’s awesome majesty.

  • We must adore him and serve him.

  • We must have a thankful heart for all God has given to the human race.

  • Believing in one God means that we appreciate and acknowledge the unity and dignity of all people—we are made in God’s image, and we must honor that image in every person.

  • Believing in God means that we make good use of all that God has given us, all created things.

  • We are to retain everything that brings us closer to God. We are to discard everything that distracts us from God.

  • Believing in God means we are to trust God in every circumstance. 

When we call God “Father,” we do not mean that literally. God is not father as we understand the human father. God does not have gender as we do. “Father” is a metaphor for expressing God’s love, his compassion, his tenderness, and his desire to care for us.

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

When we say, “His only Son,” that means we as Christians believe Jesus is God’s only Son just as God says He is many times in the Bible. When we say, “our Lord,” it means we claim Him as our Lord.

When we say, “conceived by the Holy Spirit,” it means we as Christians believe God as the Holy Spirit, formed baby Jesus in Mary. “Born of the Virgin Mary” means baby Jesus was born to His mother Mary who was a pure young maiden. The Creed professes and affirms that Jesus took on human form. He became a human being. He was both human and divine.

 

Jesus was always part of God. There never was a time that Jesus was not God, or not part of God. Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus and the Father have always been one. Jesus is often referred to as the Divine Word.

One way to try to understand “begotten, not made” is to say that Jesus was always part of the Father. The Father did not make Jesus. To be begotten, the Father simply had to speak the Word (that was already part of God) and Jesus who was already part of God’s essence (substance) flowed out from God, out to the universe.

3:18 min.

suffered under Pontius Pilate, 

was crucified, died and was buried;

He descended into hell;

on the third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

1:40 min.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
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.

Christians believe in the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit. The Church calls this the paschal mystery.

Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea. He sentenced Jesus to be crucified, which is death on a cross. The Roman centurion testified that Jesus died. Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus in a tomb and sealed it with a stone. In proving that Jesus truly died, it important to have the word of a Roman centurion, rather than only the word of Jesus’ followers because the centurion was a more objective witness.

"He descended into hell" - not hell where Satan is but to a place of the dead, where the holy people who died before Jesus was born were awaiting His coming. They were not allowed to enter into heaven because of Adam and Eve's sin. Jesus opened the gates of heaven for them and you when He suffered and died on the cross. This part of the Creed deals with His going there and bringing them to heaven.

“He rose again,” means as Christians, we believe God the Father, raised Jesus from death to life. Jesus proved this Himself by appearing to over 500 witnesses during the 40-day period between God raising Him from the dead and God lifting Him up to heaven.

“He ascended into heaven,” refers to the time when God lifted Jesus up to heaven.

“Seated at the right hand of the Father” means seated on God’s throne in heaven. He will come to judge everyone who is alive when He returns as well as those who have already died. 

Our teaching about the afterlife is also included in the Nicene Creed. “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” We are reminded about the last things, about heaven, hell, final judgment, and eternal life. We are reminded that Jesus will come again at the end of the world to judge the world and bring his work on earth to completion.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

I 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 adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

The Spirit flows from, comes out of, the Father and the Son as the greatest gift ever given to human beings. The Spirit carries on the work Jesus began in his incarnation.

 

The Father, Son, and Spirit form a perfect community of love. They are an example for us for how to live in perfect love with one another as they show us their perfect love in their relationship with one another in the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit in a perfect community of love.

The Holy Spirit created the world with the Father and the Son. He visited different people in the Old Testament, giving them the power to say and do mighty things.

the Holy catholic Church,

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. These are called the 4 Marks of the Church.

 

► ONE: there is only one Church of Christ, and it subsists in the Catholic Church. All other Christian Churches are understood to be in some way part of the Catholic Church, united in baptism, but not all are in full communion.

  • They are in some mysterious way already a part of the Catholic Church through baptism.

  • Some of them are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church but they are a part of it nevertheless.

 

► HOLY: The Church is holy by the power of Jesus. The Church is set apart for a particular purpose. Even though we are sinners, we work toward holiness. The Church itself is holy and graced by Jesus Christ.

 

► CATHOLIC: The Church is universal in message. The same full gospel is preached everywhere.

  • The word “catholic” has two meanings. When it is capitalized, it refers to the Roman Catholic Church. When the word catholic is not capitalized, it means universal or worldwide. “The holy catholic Church” refers to the whole group of believers from every tribe, nation, and denomination.

  • The Church is catholic because, as St. Ignatius of Antioch told us: Wherever Jesus is, there is the Church. 

  • The Church is catholic because it is sent on a mission by Jesus Christ to the whole world.

► APOSTOLIC: Our faith is handed down to us from an unbroken line of succession, from Peter to the current pope. We have been formed in the faith of the Apostles, that means we are to do what the apostles did: go out and baptize all nations, go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ

the communion of Saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting.

 

Amen.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.

 

Amen.

The “communion of saints” refers to all the people in heaven who pray for people on earth, all the believers on earth who can pray for each other and those suffering in purgatory, a place of purification before entering heaven.

The Nicene Creed reminds us that there is only one baptism. That is why we do not re-baptize. We accept and honor the valid baptism of other Christian Churches. A valid baptism consists of baptism with water and in the name of the Trinity.

As Christians, we believe in the forgiveness of sins. Sin is doing wrong in God’s eyes. God promises that whoever believes in His Son, Jesus, will be forgiven. When Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins, He bought total forgiveness for all who believe.

The Creed ends on a note of hope as we await eternal life in the life after death. Everlasting life is life forever. Jesus promises everlasting life to all who believe in Him. That means even if our body dies, our souls will live forever close to God.

Complete the Crossword Online

Use words from the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed to complete the crossword puzzle.

Video

Discussion / Reflection

  • Why do you think it is important to live out what you believe?

  • Do you understand what you are saying when you profess the Creed?

  • Are there any beliefs you struggle with?

Discuss these questions with your parents or sponsor OR write your thoughts in a Confirmation journal.

2:56 min.

Holiness Focus ...

St. Stephen - the first martyr
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What is a martyr?

a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs

4:34 min.

Closing Prayer

God of power,

You have given us the gift of the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed as prayers.

We know that we do not know how to pray as we should,

so we ask that you teach us how to pray.

You have given us the Creed as our profession of faith.

We ask you to help us be grateful for such a wonderful gift.

You desire a relationship with us.

So we ask you to make us thirsty for your love.

Amen.

Don't forget to submit your sponsor form

Please submit Confirmation Sponsor Forms by January 8, 2021.

If a candidate wishes to have 2 sponsors, please indicate in the comments box at the bottom of the form.

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This week in the forum ...

 

Why do we pray the Creed, and why is it important that we have one?

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