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Catholic Dictionary




A formula of belief, in twelve articles, containing the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, whose authorship (in substance if not in words) tradition ascribes to the Apostles. Its full text reads: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy, catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins (I Corinthians 1:11-12), the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen." Eastern Christians do not use the Apostles' Creed in their liturgy. At a very early date the Western Church required catechumens to learn and recite the Apostles' Creed before admission to baptism.