Should the Creed be prefaced in some way?

Vanellus

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In the Anglican forms of service there is usually some kind of preface before communion about who should or should not take communion, but not afaik before reciting the Creed. Of course, people are free not to take part, or to omit parts - but there is peer pressure to recite along with people around you. Also, there are some fairly difficult ideas such as "one substance". How many in the congregation really understand all that they are saying? Do you think it is still a good idea to recite the Creed even if not all the congregation believes all of it?
 

seeking.IAM

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I disagree with your basic assumption that there is peer pressure to recite the Creed. Persons are free to participate in different ways during liturgy. An oft cited tenet in Anglicanism is "All may, none must, some should." I think any sense that there is "peer pressure" is internally concluded, not externally imposed. We aren't standing their checking who says what. We don't care. The expectation in The Episcopal Church is that communicants be baptized Christians. There is no litmus test about the Creed.

Should the Creed be recited? Definitely. If you don't believe it, don't say it. Or perhaps, like me, you edit it a bit by leaving out the filioque to adhere to the earliest version of the Creed. Reciting the Creed is an important part of connection to historical Christianity.
 
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Vanellus

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I disagree with your basic assumption that there is peer pressure to recite the Creed. Persons are free to participate in different ways during liturgy. An oft cited tenet in Anglicanism is "All may, none must, some should." I think any sense that there is "peer pressure" is internally concluded, not externally imposed. We aren't standing their checking who says what. We don't care. The expectation in The Episcopal Church is that communicants be baptized Christians. There is no litmus test about the Creed.

Should the Creed be recited? Definitely. If you don't believe it, don't say it. Or perhaps, like me, you edit it a bit by leaving out the filioque to adhere to the earliest version of the Creed. Reciting the Creed is an important part of connection to historical Christianity.
Of course you are entitled to your opinion about peer pressure but are you confident that everyone who recites the creed understands and agrees with it?
 
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seeking.IAM

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Of course you are entitled to your opinion about peer pressure but are you confident that everyone who recites the creed understands and agrees with it?

I do not expect uniformity of understanding or agreement. I think most do understand it. I think some likely do not agree with it. As, I said I don't agree with it as said in my parish, the filioque being the example. We do not march in lockstep with each other. We are more about common worship than dogma or common belief. That is hard for some to get their head around. We can worship with people that think differently than us and not get stressed about it.
 
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Paidiske

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I think individual agreement with every word of the Creed is not the point. Reciting the Creed is a corporate activity; we claim these beliefs as those which underpin the life of this community; and our community, its ethos, mission and ministry, should be profoundly shaped by all that flows from those fundamental underpinnings.

So yes, we should recite it, recognising that in doing so we are not making a claim about personal agreement but about corporate identity and commitment.
 
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Vanellus

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I think individual agreement with every word of the Creed is not the point. Reciting the Creed is a corporate activity; we claim these beliefs as those which underpin the life of this community; and our community, its ethos, mission and ministry, should be profoundly shaped by all that flows from those fundamental underpinnings.

So yes, we should recite it, recognising that in doing so we are not making a claim about personal agreement but about corporate identity and commitment.
Do you think there should be a preface to the creed read out by the person leading the service along those lines, rather than just going straight into it as part of the order of service?
 
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Paidiske

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Do you think there should be a preface to the creed read out by the person leading the service along those lines, rather than just going straight into it as part of the order of service?

It's an interesting question. I think, over recent times, there has been a huge loss of understanding of what we do as corporate or shared, and much more emphasis on individual conviction and experience; so maybe it would be helpful if there were some kind of preface or preamble which helped frame this part of what we do together.

And given that (in the form of service I'm most familiar with, anyway) the Creed generally follows the sermon, there's no reason that even the end of the sermon couldn't be used in that kind of way, to set up what follows.
 
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The Liturgist

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"The Doors! The Doors!” ~Orthodox preface

The Doors

Not to be confused with the rock band from decades prior, whose music I have never knowingly listened to. By the way, @Shane R , what do you think about what the Byzantine rite does at that moment in the service, as a continuing Anglo Catholic?

Also, I think the Episcopal parish which did the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and uploaded to YouTube may have included the Doors…I recall a lack of any noticeable differences in how they did the creed. I may have to rewatch it. There is a Society of Byzantine Rite Anglicans who are using “Rite III” in the 1979 BCP and other liturgical exceptions to celebrate the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and probably the others, and I suspect some are including the Doors. Some probably are not.
 
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Christoph Maria

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I think individual agreement with every word of the Creed is not the point. Reciting the Creed is a corporate activity; [...] recognising that in doing so we are not making a claim about personal agreement but about corporate identity and commitment.
That is a very good point indeed! I never thought about it quite like this...
 
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Philip_B

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In the time of Charlemagne, (possibly the council of Frankfurt) the Western Church moved the Nicene Symbol to the ministry of the word. In so doing we changed something of the character of the Creed. The Eastern Church has it after the dismissal of the catechumens, so very much more in the sacramental heart of the liturgy. I have experienced an unsanctioned Anglican use that recited the creed after the offertory and before the sursum corda. I felt it was more prayerful and held more meaning there. I wish it was a more normative option for Anglicans, as it makes sense.
 
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The Liturgist

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In the time of Charlemagne, (possibly the council of Frankfurt) the Western Church moved the Nicene Symbol to the ministry of the word. In so doing we changed something of the character of the Creed. The Eastern Church has it after the dismissal of the catechumens, so very much more in the sacramental heart of the liturgy. I have experienced an unsanctioned Anglican use that recited the creed after the offertory and before the sursum corda. I felt it was more prayerful and held more meaning there. I wish it was a more normative option for Anglicans, as it makes sense.

This is interesting. However I would note that in both cases, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and in the Anglican Church, the Creed occurs after the Synaxis, the Liturgy of the Catechumens known as the Ministry of the Word in the West, has concluded. Also I was unaware that it was Charlemagne who introduced the Creed into the Western Rite; I knew he was responsible for promoting the filioque, but I was unaware he promoted the use of the Creed in the liturgy, might I ask where you read that? Since clearly I need to revise on my liturgical history just a bit.

I would also note the offertory in the Eastern churches is the Great Entrance and is purely Eucharistic in character, being a procession of the unconsecrated bread and wine from the Table of Preparation out through the deacons’ door on the North end of the Iconostasis, and then to the altar through the Holy Doors, either straight in, in Russo-Ukrainian praxis, or around the congregation in the Nave, in Greek and Antiochian praxis. Increasingly I see offertories like this in Episcopal churches that I have visited, albeit with laity carrying the bread and wine to the altar.
 
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Paidiske

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I am a bit confused by this, because in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and in the Anglican Church, the Creed occurs after the Synaxis, the Liturgy of the Catechumens known as the Ministry of the Word in the West, has concluded....

Not in rites I'm familiar with.

The usual thing here is readings-sermon-Creed-intercessions.
 
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The Liturgist

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Not in rites I'm familiar with.

The usual thing here is readings-sermon-Creed-intercessions.

Ah, I think I understand, because there are intercessory litanies both before and after the Catechumens are dismissed in the Eastern liturgy, and I had assumed the intercessions were reckoned a part of the Liturgy of the Faithful even though they occur as part of Ante-Communion. Comparative liturgics can be a bit tricky, particularly since many of the same litanies are said in the same positions in the Byzantine Rite, for example, even if it is a Typika (which is the Byzantine equivalent of Ante Communion), unless it is a Reader’s Typika, and also with the Pre-sanctified Liturgy.

Also these intercessions occur deep within the Roman Canon in the Roman Rite, which adds to the confusion. Bradshaw and Johnson, in their book The Eucharistic Liturgies, and others, provide helpful charts showing what happens in different places in the service.

So out of curiosity, what do you think? Would you rather the Creed happen after the Liturgy of the Word as @Philip_B suggests?

Oh also it seems an Anglican church now has the Australian prayerbook available for download: https://jamberooanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/AAPB.pdf

Out of curiosity, does that correspond with the green edition or the red edition (I think you had suggested the red one?)
 
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Paidiske

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So out of curiosity, what do you think? Would you rather the Creed happen after the Liturgy of the Word as @Philip_B suggests?

If I understood what Philip was describing, I think I am not keen. I would prefer not to liturgically clutter the space between offertory prayers and beginning the Great Thanksgiving.

I think there could be arguments for the Creed to be elsewhere in the liturgy than where it is, perhaps in some other configuration of readings, Creed and sermon (how might it change the way we hear the readings, for example, if we prefaced them with the Creed?) but I am not particularly exercised by it either way.

I do agree with Philip that all too often it is not a very prayerful experience, and that many of our people struggle to work out how to engage with it.

Oh also it seems an Anglican church now has the Australian prayerbook available for download: https://jamberooanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/AAPB.pdf

Out of curiosity, does that correspond with the green edition or the red edition (I think you had suggested the red one?)

I suggested the red one, but I was talking about the 1995 book, A Prayer Book for Australia. This is the previous, 1978 book. I am fascinated to see that it is available online, as I've previously had discussions with people overseas very keen to get a copy. In fact I posted one to @Shane R some years back.

I'm doubly fascinated to see that it is marked copyright 2011. How did you come by that?
 
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Shane R

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I think individual agreement with every word of the Creed is not the point. Reciting the Creed is a corporate activity; we claim these beliefs as those which underpin the life of this community; and our community, its ethos, mission and ministry, should be profoundly shaped by all that flows from those fundamental underpinnings.

So yes, we should recite it, recognising that in doing so we are not making a claim about personal agreement but about corporate identity and commitment.
I was trained to preface the creed: And now, let us confess the faith of the Church in the words of. . .

Our normative order of service is Creed then sermon but the American prayer book allows for sermon-Creed as well. What I really hate is the fairly common habit of making long, irrelevant, mostly inane announcements after the Creed. "Today we've got cake and deviled eggs provided by Mrs. . ." "Ladies monthly tea is at 1 o'clock this Thursday." "The Fire Department is selling chicken dinners. . ."
 
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seeking.IAM

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What I really hate is the fairly common habit of making long, irrelevant, mostly inane announcements after the Creed.

I agree. Why do we do that? I can read the bulletin. The church's calendar is on the website. At least we don't do what was common in my old tradition: "I heard Jim's got hemorrhoids. Let's all pray for Jim's hemorrhoids." :swoon:
 
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The Liturgist

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If I understood what Philip was describing, I think I am not keen. I would prefer not to liturgically clutter the space between offertory prayers and beginning the Great Thanksgiving.

I think there could be arguments for the Creed to be elsewhere in the liturgy than where it is, perhaps in some other configuration of readings, Creed and sermon (how might it change the way we hear the readings, for example, if we prefaced them with the Creed?) but I am not particularly exercised by it either way.

I myself prefer the status quo ante, because is similar in appearance if not actual organization to the Roman Rite from which the Sarum Rite and thence the Anglican Rite were derived, and this in turn resembles the Byzantine, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and other ancient liturgical rites, but I do like Philip’s idea and I understand where he is coming from in desiring the creed to be a part of the same “liturgical unit” as the anaphora.

By the way, given your nonchalance concerning lectionaries, would it be fair to say that you are blessed with a certain tranquility concerning the liturgy provided something is not obviously wrong, disproportionate, or incompatible with the Anglican faith as you received it?

I do agree with Philip that all too often it is not a very prayerful experience, and that many of our people struggle to work out how to engage with it.

Indeed, and this is a pity, because I feel the recitation, or indeed the singing of the creed is extremely important.

I suggested the red one, but I was talking about the 1995 book, A Prayer Book for Australia. This is the previous, 1978 book. I am fascinated to see that it is available online, as I've previously had discussions with people overseas very keen to get a copy. In fact I posted one to @Shane R some years back.

I'm doubly fascinated to see that it is marked copyright 2011. How did you come by that?

I just Googled A Prayerbook For Australia and there it was. I would that I could add it appeared in a puff of smoke, to the accompaniment of a crash of cymbals and a chord on a celesta.* It is hosted on the website of an Anglican parish which uses it for Morning Prayer, interestingly enough.

*Also known as a bell piano, the enchanting instrument from the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.
 
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The Liturgist

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I was trained to preface the creed: And now, let us confess the faith of the Church in the words of. . .

Our normative order of service is Creed then sermon but the American prayer book allows for sermon-Creed as well. What I really hate is the fairly common habit of making long, irrelevant, mostly inane announcements after the Creed. "Today we've got cake and deviled eggs provided by Mrs. . ." "Ladies monthly tea is at 1 o'clock this Thursday." "The Fire Department is selling chicken dinners. . ."


I agree. Why do we do that? I can read the bulletin. The church's calendar is on the website. At least we don't do what was common in my old tradition: "I heard Jim's got hemorrhoids. Let's all pray for Jim's hemorrhoids." :swoon:

You have no idea how much I agree with you. Eastern priests tend to make announcements after the liturgy concludes, which strikes me as working better.
 
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Philip_B

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This is interesting. However I would note that in both cases, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and in the Anglican Church, the Creed occurs after the Synaxis, the Liturgy of the Catechumens known as the Ministry of the Word in the West, has concluded. Also I was unaware that it was Charlemagne who introduced the Creed into the Western Rite; I knew he was responsible for promoting the filioque, but I was unaware he promoted the use of the Creed in the liturgy, might I ask where you read that? Since clearly I need to revise on my liturgical history just a bit.

I would also note the offertory in the Eastern churches is the Great Entrance and is purely Eucharistic in character, being a procession of the unconsecrated bread and wine from the Table of Preparation out through the deacons’ door on the North end of the Iconostasis, and then to the altar through the Holy Doors, either straight in, in Russo-Ukrainian praxis, or around the congregation in the Nave, in Greek and Antiochian praxis. Increasingly I see offertories like this in Episcopal churches that I have visited, albeit with laity carrying the bread and wine to the altar.

Council of Frankfurt 794 [W]
The Council called by Charlemagne condemned Spanish Adoptionism, and both the veneration and the destruction of religious images (icons). In discussing adoptionism the council touched on the question of the insertion of the filioque. The insertion of the filioque in this setting makes more sense as a foil against adoptionism, that as against arianism.

Synod of Friuli 796 [W]
Alquin tells us of the Synod of Friuli, following the Council of Frankfurt, and that the main business was to promote the inclusion of the Nicene Creed in the English position which was after the Gospel. This was the Creed with the inserted filioque. This has become fairly much the Western Position of the Creed, against the eastern position after the Great Entrance and before the Anaphora.​

I had not intended to suggest that Charlemagne inserted the Creed, but rather that he was invested in ensuring that the filioque was inserted (there is a big question as to why, for it may have been genuine faith conviction, or it may have been a desire to differentiate the Western Church from the Byzantine Church - suggesting more politics than piety). He was also involved in moving the position of the Creed within the liturgy.

I did a lot of reading a few years ago, trying to understand how it was that the filioque really came to be inserted in the Nicene Creed. I found the Latin transcript of the record of the Third Synod of Toledo, and after a lot of work realised that it is a complete fabrication to suggest that it was added at this gathering, and indeed it makes absolute nonsense of the purpose of the gathering which was to bring the formerly Arian King Reaccared I to the Nicene Faith.

I will pm you.
 
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