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Why Do We Still Recite the Nicene Creed at the Eucharist?

Mark D. Chapman


The Anglican Communion appears to be seeking to rule some in and some out on the grounds of "orthodoxy." In that context, a discussion of the creed in worship may help to illustrate the relationships between doctrine, performance, and practice. This article suggests that F. D. Maurice's understanding of the use of the creed offers a way forward for Anglicans: the "performance" of the creed as a focus for the name of God becomes far more important than assent to propositions. This understanding might help Anglicans in living with diversity while acknowledging an underlying baptismal unity. Reading the creed as a corporate hymn of praise to triune Love might encourage God-fearing people to live in humble adoration of the One who loves them--without growing anxious about precisely what, or even whether, the other people who are singing God's praise "believe."

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