Dear Ambrose: Singing the Creed

Reciting the Nicene Creed each week has become very rote-like, just checking off a set of beliefs. Is singing the Creed an option? Bored

Dear Bored:  The short answer is YES. Singing the Creed can make it more prayerful and less like a laundry list. As stated in Wonder, Love, and Praise, “The Creed is best understood as a hymn of praise, not a dry recitation of theological statement.” (Wonder, Love, and Praise,  John Hooker, Editor, #849; © Church Publishing, Inc.). There are a few options in our hymnals:

Hymnal 1982                      S-103

If you are a Rite I parish this version is for you. Here is a link to listen. The accompaniment is found in the 1940 Hymnal, #720.

Hymnal 1982                      S-104

Same plainsong mode as S-103 but in Rite II language. The same accompaniment as above can be used for this version.

Hymnal 1982                      S-105

This setting is composed by Calvin Hampton and “is characterized by the composer’s use of a single theme, which he expands and contracts in varied rhythmic and melodic ways to fit the irregularities of the text.” (The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Raymond Glover, Editor, Volume 2, p. 79; © The Church Hymnal Corporation.)  Here is a link to listen:

This version can be sung in unison by the congregation.

Hymnal 1982                      S-361

This setting by Bruce Ford is based on Vatican Credo 3 and is set to the contemporary text. Here is a link to listen:

Wonder, Love, and Praise            #849

In this setting by Owen Burdick the congregation monotones on G throughout. The parts are done by the choir or organ. Here is a link to hear a portion of this version.

All of these settings should be used for at least a season so that the congregation can become familiar with them and could use strong leadership from the choir.