The Apostles' Creed was composed in part and adopted at the First Council of Nicea (325) and revised with additions by the First Council of Constantinople (381), is a creed that summarises the orthodox faith of the Christian Church and is used in the liturgy of most Christian Churches.
Credo (Latin) translates "I believe", much more personal than "We believe", and generally modern versions have removed considerable personal emphasis, and by changing tense and words have conveyed far less of the full import of the original than a language update should. Same goes for many translations of the Bible.
Interestingly the 1973-1975 English language translators of the Nicene Creed seem to have bowed to the large contingent among them from the Roman Catholic Church to retain the word "catholic" instead of translating it "universal" which is its true meaning.
The original (1549) English of the Nicene Creed - an enlarged version written to exclude some heresies - reads: "And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick Church." Compare with the 1975: English: "We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church." - the only word in the whole creed that would be difficult to understand which was not transliterated into modern English is that one.
Only one denomination represented on the committee - the North American and U.K. Lutherans - refused to use the term, substituting the word "Christian" instead.
For what it's worth, the Latin "sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam" capitalises the word for "Church" and not "Catholic" which is correct for the context of the Church being important, rather than the adjective used for it. Yes, Latin did use upper and lower case, often performed by using smaller script capitalisation. When Latin was taught in schools, that was one of the things students learned.
Interestingly, the Roman Catholic Church, while participating in the translation committee, never used the published final liturgy, preferred to produce its own translation, which appears to be significantly different in places.
The Oxford English Dictionary - long established as THE benchmark of literary accuracy of meaning - has this to say, in its 1969 Fifth Edition. This is in the general meaning, rather than its specific application to what has become known as the "Western" church (centred on Rome) rather than the "eastern" church, centred on Byzantium (later Constantinople, then recently Istanbul)...
This writer was familiar as a child, just after Wold War II, with the Church of England's "Book of Common Prayer" in which the original translation into the English language was found. This is important to realise, to see the points of this paper in context and perspective. The translation was from the Latin, as used in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, supervised by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior clergyman in England's only "official" church, which was still Roman Catholic in all but name, as the Reformation had not yet consummated the split between the Roman Papacy and the English Monarchy.
One of the archbishop's brilliant personal translations was the hymn Te Deum Laudamus - "We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord" whch many - including this writer - believe to be as good a "Statement of Faith" as any of the several Creeds in existence.
The "holy catholic church" is coupled with the "Communion of Saints", which further emphasises it is not Roman church identification; because the RCC has its own ranking of higher order "canonised" departed members who are classified "saints".
One might note that it says The holy church rather than implying the holy Roman Catholic Church (meaning the Western church based on Rome).
While few people under the age of 50 would have learned European history of the Reformation back to the Middle ages, there is also a potential for confusion with what was officially called the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither Holy, Roman, nor an empire in an understandable way. For a period, the head of the western church, would lay hands on and appoint someone to be a new Holy Roman Emperor. There was one in Luther's time and on a number of occasions.
Charlemagne (Charles the Great), who ruled from 742 to 814, is an example of such a holy Roman emperor. Carolus Magnus was actually a German who lived in France.
Often living in Spain or France, they were often a ilitary extension to the pope's quite extensive secular powers. Remember, there is still a Vatican City, the capital of the Vatican city-state of the same name, located in Italy.
The list of participants in these meetings can only be partially reconstructed, but it is known that the members were balanced between conservatives and reformers. These meetings were followed by a debate on the eucharist which took place in the House of Lords
Cranmer publicly revealed in this debate that he had abandoned the Roman doctrine of the Real Presence and believed that the eucharistic presence was only spiritual. To this day, Roman Catholics teach and affirm that Jesus is crucified anew every time the priest administers communion
The English Parliament backed the publication of the Prayer Book after Christmas that year, by passing the Act of Uniformity 1549; and it then legalised clerical marriage.
John Wesley, the famous revivalist from once stated
“I believe there is no Liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of England.” Many others would say the same about the English language translations - many of which were done under extreme persecution to prevent the people hearing the word of God in their own language - which culminated in the Authorised Version of 1611 following King James 6th of Scotland acceeding to the English throne as King James 1st of an united Great Britain. The AV - often referred to as the King James - effectively cemented these two English-speaking nations as one under the Act of Union, and Cranmer's hard and scholarly work was guaranteed until the mid 20th Centuary when the white ants (termites) entered through internal division resulting from a "greater freedom of expression" being "a good thing".
The English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC) is a group of national associations of ecumenical liturgists in the English-speaking world. Their work has been concerned with developing and promoting common liturgical texts in English and sharing a common lectionary wherever possible. It is the successor body to the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET).
ICET was formed in 1969 and, after circulating drafts in 1971, 1972, and 1973. completed its work in 1975 by publishing, in the booklet Prayers We Have in Common, its proposed English versions of liturgical texts that included the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Lord's Prayer. These texts were widely adopted by English-speaking Christians, but not by Catholics who still use the traditional texts in a liturgical setting.
In 1975, the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET), published, in the book "Prayers We Have in Common", an ecumenical English translation of the Nicene Creed that was adopted by many Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Following is the text of this 1975 version as printed in the English-language Roman Missal used outside the United States.
ELLC, in turn, published in 1988 "Praying Together", with revisions of the ICET texts. These have been accepted by many Churches - for instance, the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1998, the Methodist Church of Great Britain in 1999 and the Anglican Church of Ireland in 2002 - but many of them introduced modifications.
The webmaster acknowledges material found on many websites to assist in the background for this article, including several pages from Wikipedia, and a number of others. Useful pages have been saved into the directory in which this page is located.