In many churches it is customary to include a profession of faith in worship. This may take the form of the congregation reciting one of the ecumenical creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. Or it may include a reading from one of the Reformed creeds such as the Heidelberg Catechism. In so doing we not only affirm what we believe but also express our solidarity with the church of Christ universal.
Reciting creeds is one way of expressing our faith. Another way is to sing our faith. This idea is not new. For years the recitation of the Apostles’ Creed has been followed by the singing of the Gloria Patri. But the singing can also be interwoven with or into the creed. Since singing is such a rich expression of our worship, singing the faith enhances our expression of it.
What follows are several ways in which we can give expression to our faith in song interspersed with reciting the creeds.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
Song: “You Are Worthy” CH 100, PsH 232, WR 126
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Song: “Rejoice, the Lord Is King” CH 370, PH 155, PsH 408, SFL 180, TH 310, WR 342
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
“The Spirit Came as Promised” PsH 418
“There Is a Redeemer” CH 308, SNC 145, SWM 128, WR 117
Heidelberg Catechism (Q&A 1)
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—
body and soul, in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Song: “When We Are Living” PH 400, SNC 193, WR 415
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
Song: “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” CH 21, PH 466, PsH 501, SWM 42, SFL 19, TH 164, WR 96
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Song: “Like a River Glorious” CH 737, PsH 560, TH 699, WR 435
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
Song: “Blessed Assurance” CH 572, PH 341, PsH 490, TH 693, WR 426
A Contemporary Te Deum
You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: all creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
“Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (st. 1-2) CH 2, PH 460, PsH 504, TH 103, WR 138
“You Are Holy” SNC 20
The glorious company of apostles praises you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praises you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praises you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you.
“Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (st. 3)
“Lord Most High” SNC 47
Father of majesty unbounded;
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship;
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the King of glory,
eternal Son of the Father.
Song: “Come, Praise God! Sing Hallelujah!” SNC 38
When you became human to set us free,
you did not disdain the virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come, then, Lord, sustain your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints to everlasting glory.
Song: “Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (st. 4)
Our World Belongs to God (st. 1-2)*
As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world—
which some seek to control,
but which others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
Song: “The Lord Is King, Enthroned” PsH 93
From the beginning,
through all the crises of our times,
until his kingdom fully comes,
God keeps covenant forever.
Our world belongs to him!
Song: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” CH 586, PsH 457, SWM 26, SFL 198, WR 80
God is King! Let the earth be glad!
Christ is Victor; his rule has begun. Hallelujah!
The Spirit is at work, renewing the creation.
Praise the Lord!
“This Is My Father’s World” CH 143, PH 293, PsH 436,SWM 62, SFL 95, TH 111, WR 21
“Let All Creation Bless the Lord” SNC 34, WR 25
* Note: the complete text of the Contemporary Testimony Our World Belongs to God can be found at http://www.crcna.org/pages/our_world_main.cfm.
Options for Singing Creeds in their Entirety
The Apostle’s Creed
“Apostles’ Creed” (17th cent.) PsH 519
“Apostles’ Creed” (Miladin) TH 741
“Apostles’ Creed” (Taylor) TH 742
“I Believe in God Almighty” (Dunstan) SNC 175
“Nicene Creed” (Draesel) PsH 520
“My Only Comfort, Now, Always” (Veenstra), RW 72
“My Only Comfort in Life and in Death” (Brink) PsH 549
“The Son of God, through His Spirit” (Brink) PsH 507
“Holy God, We Praise Your Name” CH 2, PH 460, PsH 504, TH 103, WR 138
Our World Belongs to God (st. 1-2)
“Our World Belongs to God” (Brown), www.crcna.org/pages/sesquicentennial_hymn.cfm