This Sunday as part of the singing portion of the worship service we are going to do something I have never led anyone to do before. We are going to recite the Apostles’ Creed.

Different for us, yes. Some churches recite it every Sunday. Creeds are just not a big part of the Wesleyan tradition as far as I know. Although, John Wesley being an Anglican priest, was probably familiar with the Apostles and Nicene Creed. And I think it is a good thing to know and maybe a good thing for a body of believers to say together in a worship service.  The excerpt that I have included below makes some interesting points about how reciting creeds connects us with worshippers from the past. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

The Case for Reciting Creeds in Worship

Text by Joan Huyser-Honig

Albert Aymer believes more churches should use creeds in worship. Given how The DaVinci Code sparks so many questions about Christianity, now is a good time to brush up on creeds.

“People see the schools I attended and the degrees I earned and think that’s who I am. It’s not,” says Albert Aymer, president of Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury , North Carolina .

Aymer grew up on the Caribbean island of Antigua, surrounded by steeldrum and calypso music. But what formed him, he says, is worshiping alongside his parents—an Anglican policeman and a Methodist seamstress, who knew 450 hymns byJohn and Charles Wesley.

“Where I grew up, we used Cranmer’s liturgy every Sunday. We were following the seasons of the church’s year from my infancy,” Aymer says. He learned to chant, not sing, the psalm for the day. The words and rhythms of ancient canticles, such as the Te Deum, which follows the outlines of the Apostles’ Creed, shaped him.

“In worship we celebrate God with a host of angels and archangels. I can sense my grandmother and my mother and all the saints of God who have preceded me but who are still here surrounding me in an unbroken fellowship,” he says.

Aymer has a message for churches doing all they can to make worship relevant and contemporary. “Remember that worship transcends time and space,” he urges.

One of the best ways to do that is to use creeds in worship.

Saying who we are

Aymer says he’s encouraged by liturgical revisions that are intelligible and meaningful to worshipers, yet preserve our heritage as a worldwide “communion of the church celestial and the church terrestrial.”

“Saying the creeds in worship links us to the church of past ages and connects us to the worship of future ages. Only a narrow stream of death separates us from the saints now in heaven—and God spans that. Using creeds in worship gives the sense that God’s future is already now,” Aymer says.

He has studied, pastored churches, and taught throughout the Caribbean and the Eastern United States . He’s moved in Anglican, British Methodist, United Methodist, and, now, African Methodist Episcopal Zion circles. He often worships in Presbyterian and Lutheran churches.

“Saying creeds in worship makes me feel so at home among believers, no matter where I am,” Aymer says.

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