The Creed is a summary of the Christian faith and expresses the central truths that the members of the Catholic Church believe.
The YouCat describes a creed as a 'bried formula of faith that makes it possible for all believers to make a common profession' (YouCat 26).
The two most used creeds of the Catholic Church are the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed. In Mass, we pray the Nicene Creed, which was written during two of the great councils of the Church, Nicacea in 325 A.D. and Constantinople in 381 A.D. It's the Church's way of briefly summarizing the most important truths of the faith.
It is, first of all, a profession of faith that is a personal act. It is a personal statement of what you believe. It's like the 'About Me' section on Facebook or a blog where you put what you like to do, what movies you like to watch, your favorite quotes and music, things that you love and enjoy. It describes you.
When you pray the Creed, you say 'I believe in One God,' 'I believe in One Lord Jesus Christ,' 'I believe in the Holy Spirit.' It describes you and what you believe. It is a summary of the central truths of your faith. You profess it as something individually important to you, something that tells others about you.
However, it is also something that you share in common with the rest of the faithful in the Church. All of the members of the Catholic Church personally profess the same beliefs within the Creed and are therefore connected. The Creed unites the faithful as One Church.
'Let the creed be like a mirror for you. Look at yourself in it to see whether you really believe all that you claim to believe. And rejoice every day in your faith.' St. Augustine
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
with the Father;
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified
under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic,
and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead and the life of the world to come.