Commemoration: Ecumenical Council of Nicaea

Today is the commemoration of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it is: the Nicene Creed originated from this first council, as an answer to one of the more popular heresies plaguing the Church at the time (which claimed that Jesus was not the Son of God but rather created by God the Father). The council confessed this early version of the creed we know today, which was later adopted in its entirety at the Council of Constantinople in 381. We pray together with the whole Church:

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

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life (+) of the world to come. Amen.

“Us men” means all people.
“Christian”: the ancient text reads “catholic,” meaning the whole Church as it confesses the wholeness of Christian doctrine.

Byzantine fresco representing the first Council of Nicaea