Adding words to the Creed (POSSIBLY)

I already know the answer to this question is “no. you can’t. so don’t.”

But I LOVE the Eucharist, and the Eucharist is described as the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith. So why is it not in one of the most central prayers, The Apostle’s Creed?

If the institution of the Eucharist (and the sacraments of baptism and confession) was done for our salvation, then why would the text not be “… was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he INSTITUTED THE SACRAMENTS, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. …”

The central part of the Mass is the consecration of the host and receiving Communion. And the Mass itself is central to Catholic life and practice. It makes sense that eating the Bread of Life would be mentioned in the articles of faith in the Creed. By adding those words about the sacraments, we imply the institution of the Eucharist (and all other sacraments)

So can I insert those words? How would the Church go about changing the creed (if it even has the authority to do so)? Like I said, I know the answer is “no”.

The Eucharist is Jesus and Jesus is in the creed. I’m not as familiar with the Apostle’s Creed, but the Nicene Creed mentions Baptism. I think all of the sacraments are implied to some degree by words that are already in the Creed. I’m not sure the Creeds would change since they were created to reflect dogma and may even be dogma themselves. The only changes I know of are when truer translations of words are discovered. Jesus established the Church as His authority on earth, so I would continue to say the Creeds the way the Church gave them to us.

The Church has various creeds for various purposes. They tend to focus on what was controverted at the time–the Apostles’ and Nicene are focused on who Jesus is, which is foundational. The Creed promulgated by Pope Pius IV (called the Tridentine Profession of Faith, since it is based on the decisions of the Council of Trent) has the following article:

I profess, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that a conversion takes place of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under either species alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.

This Creed was said by converts for centuries.

The Confession of Faith of the Fourth Lateran Council, which is essentially a Creed, has the following article:

There is indeed one universal church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice. His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God’s power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us. Nobody can effect this sacrament except a priest who has been properly ordained according to the church’s keys, which Jesus Christ himself gave to the apostles and their successors.

continued below…

continued from above…

The Creed of the People of God, promulgated by Pope Paul VI has the following:

We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.[35]

Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into His body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into His blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine,[36] as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to associate us with the unity of His Mystical Body.[37]

The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word whom they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.

Usually via an ecumenical council. For example, the Council of Constantinople amended the Nicene Creed. However, there is enduring controversy regarding the Western Church’s addition of the “filioque” clause to the Nicene Creed. The resultant friction is one reason why it is not done any longer.

But it is not the only reason. Creeds are also, very importantly, historical texts that are often identified as a tangible sign of continuity of the present Church with the Church at a given time in the past. They are, in effect, demonstrations of orthodoxy and catholicity (that is, universality) within the Church. Because of this, the Church has been historically very conservative with regard to changing creeds, especially where the creeds are particularly ancient and in widespread use.

And as @Genesis315 mentioned, Creeds tend to be particular: they address theological debates that prevailed when a creed was written. They are not - and we should not regard them as - completely comprehensive of the faith.

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