This Advent, the Mass is changing to better reflect the language used in every other language. We went back to the Latin and re-translated everything based on a different set of rules than were used the first time around, and the accuracy to the text has been improved. After many years of work, the change is scheduled to begin in all American churches with the start of the Catholic new year, which begins in the first week of Advent.
Our parish priest, Father James Chelich, is starting the changes a bit at a time so that they don’t all hit at one time and really confuse everyone. This week, we started with the Profession of Faith – The Nicene Creed. I’ll highlight all of the changes to the creed in the same way that it was in our worship aid at Mass. I’m also going to include Fr. Jim’s writing about the text.
The Profession of Faith
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
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 (please bow) was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
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.
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.
I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
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.
Explanation of the Change by Father James Chelich
Profession of Faith – After the homily, and in response to the proclamation of God’s Word, we profess our faith by reciting the ancient Nicene Creed (325 A.D.). We confess our faith in the Triune God (One God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and in God’s redeeming work on our behalf.
(A creed is a formula or statement of faith or belief.)
The Nicene Creed – After 300 years of persecution, the Christian Church was granted an accepted place in public life. It had emerged from persecution intact and remarkably unified in belief and practice. The Nicene Creed is a statement of Christian belief formulated by a gathering of Bishops coming from Christian communities in all parts of the world to which faith in Christ had spread. Their desire was to set in clear formula the truth taught by Christ, preached by the apostles, and consistently believed up to that time. They did this to help Christian believers identify distortions of belief and falsehoods that some groups were beginning to spread as true Christian teaching.
By the power of the Holy Spirit…became man.
Beginning with the words, By the power of the Holy Spirit, and continuing to the end of the words, and became man, Catholics bow (in certain Liturgical Seasons* they kneel) in reverence as they mention the great mystery of the incarnation of God in Jesus. So great is our need for redemption from sin, and so great is the love of God for us, that God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-18, 3:16-17).
* The Catholic year of worship is divided into different time periods we call Liturgical Seasons. They are Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time. During each of these we focus on one portion of the life and ministry of Jesus.
This Week’s Focus on the Change
“We believe” was changed back to “I believe.” This is how the original and the Latin reads. Catholicism is a faith. Holding that faith and striving to change our lives according to that faith is what makes a person a Catholic believer. When someone joins the Catholic Church they say publically before the gathered Church, “I believe and profess all that the holy, Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.” Our personal believing is what joins us to one another. It is our gift to one another. Saying “I believe” means: “I offer this to you, to serve and strengthen your faith.” This is what makes us the Catholic Church: sharing the same faith, striving for the same holiness.
The New Roman Missal
The Nicene Creed
Part 1 – The Creed and “I believe…”
Part 2 – …consubstantial with the Father
Part 3 – Was incarnate of the Virgin Mary
Part 4 – of all things visible and invisible
Part 5 – the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages
Part 6 – he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures.
Part 7 – who has spoken through the Prophets.
Part 8 – I confess; I look forward to