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Father Muench Says...

Consider the importance of the Creed

Sept. 18, 2019

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Ticonderoga to join in the Jubilee Celebration in honor of Sister Sharon Dalton’s 50th Anniversary. Sister Sharon has served as principal of St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga for the last 34 years. She has touched the lives of innumerable families in that village. Congratulations, Sister Sharon.

On my way home, I stopped for Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Olmstedville. The pastor there is Father Philip Allen, who was my classmate during our seminary days at Wadhams Hall. He’s a good friend and always good company for lunch. After Mass, I was greeted by several parishioners who told me they were regular readers of this column. That was very special for me. So, I now send my greetings to you, folks of St. Joseph’s and again thank you for joining me each week in this column. I will now remember you as I write each week.

This week, I would like to take time to consider with you the Creed as part of the liturgy of the Mass. Whether the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed, the Creed is a most important part of the Mass. The Creed is more than a prayer. The saying of the Creed is a moment in which the whole congregation together declares before God and each other that they believe in God and the message of Jesus.

Each time we, Catholics, gather at Sunday Mass, in Churches all over this planet, we declare, “I believe in God.” Catholics all over the world, as they say the Creed, proclaim that their lives are profoundly influenced by their belief in God.

Today, I am writing to encourage you to realize how seriously important this reciting of the Creed must be for you. Some may wonder if we have to proclaim our belief in God every Sunday. They say that belief in God is obvious since we go to church.

Yet, since each day our decisions and actions are influenced by our faith in God, it is tremendously important that we announce and remember our belief in God, our readiness to make God an important part of each and every day. We cannot repeat our Creed enough times. It helps us remember and keep alive exactly who we are.

Today, I would like to urge you to take a moment to read the Creed slowly and in prayer so that you recognize exactly what you are saying each time you say the Creed at Mass. You will recognize how thoroughly and carefully our Church has developed this Creed. Each Sunday, as the Mass comes to the Creed, be alert to prayerfully remember your commitment to make God a part of your everyday life.

Each year on Easter Sunday, the Creed is changed into questions, similar to the questions used at the ceremony of Baptism. This presents a unique challenge – that we face the question of our faith and belief. Each one of us is faced by a precise question that causes us to remember, to again dedicate ourselves to God and be truly touched deeply by our faith.

These are those questions. “Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth?” “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord?” “Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of the Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?” At this moment, as you read this can you shout, “I do.” Can you walk outside at this moment and shout, “I believe in God?”

The praying of the Creed at Mass each Sunday is meant as a question, a question of your beliefs and your readiness to accept God’s profound influence on your life today and each day.

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