Capitalization of "Baptism" in the Nicene Creed


#1

Hello,

I was reading the Nicene Creed this morning on the USCCB website, and found it odd that the word “Baptism” was capitalized in the final stanza/paragraph:

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Mechanically, it does not seem to be correct; but I’m sure there must be a reason. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

Dan


#2

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:330722"]
Hello,

I was reading the Nicene Creed this morning on the USCCB website, and found it odd that the word "Baptism" was capitalized in the final stanza/paragraph:

Mechanically, it does not seem to be correct; but I'm sure there must be a reason. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

Dan

[/quote]

It is not referring to the action, but to the institution, therefore it is a proper noun.


#3

Please provide your citation that baptism should be lower cased.

It’s been a while since I cracked open an AP Stylebook but I seem to remember that the sacraments were capitalized.


#4

No citation here. I just assumed by the normal rules I was taught that “Baptism” would be in lower-case. I didn’t think of it as a proper noun. Neither did I know that there is a stylistic rule about the sacraments being capitalized. However, I did know there had to be a reason, so I asked. Thanks for your responses.

Dan


#5

[quote="dsully, post:4, topic:330722"]
No citation here. I just assumed by the normal rules I was taught that "Baptism" would be in lower-case. I didn't think of it as a proper noun. Neither did I know that there is a stylistic rule about the sacraments being capitalized. However, I did know there had to be a reason, so I asked. Thanks for your responses.

Dan

[/quote]

It falls under the same rules as using the lower case 'church' to refer to a building, vs the upper case "Church" to refer to the specific institution established by Christ, a proper noun.

One could refer to the verb "Our pastor baptized my daughter", or to the proper noun "Christ instituted the sacrament of Baptism"

It is to the second case that the Creed refers.


#6

Thanks!


#7

[quote="Brendan, post:5, topic:330722"]
It falls under the same rules as using the lower case 'church' to refer to a building, vs the upper case "Church" to refer to the specific institution established by Christ, a proper noun.

One could refer to the verb "Our pastor baptized my daughter", or to the proper noun "Christ instituted the sacrament of Baptism"

It is to the second case that the Creed refers.

[/quote]

I deal with baptism the way I deal with dad.
"I told Dad" vs "I told my dad"
"Today at Mass there was a celebration of Baptism" vs "Today at Mass we had a baptism."


#8

[quote="PacoG, post:3, topic:330722"]
Please provide your citation that baptism should be lower cased.

It's been a while since I cracked open an AP Stylebook but I seem to remember that the sacraments were capitalized.

[/quote]

The APA Handbook does not concern itself with the names of Catholic sacraments, so no citation is possible. Ditto the MLA Handbook. However, since these are not proper nouns, one does not normally capitalize them. The capitalization here is something new to the recent English translation of the missal, as none of the previous English translations included it, nor did Latin-English people's missals of old. (Needless to say, it does not appear in the Latin, either.)


#9

[quote="Chatter163, post:8, topic:330722"]
The APA Handbook does not concern itself with the names of Catholic sacraments, so no citation is possible. Ditto the MLA Handbook. However, since these are not proper nouns, one does not normally capitalize them. The capitalization here is something new to the recent English translation of the missal, as none of the previous English translations included it, nor did Latin-English people's missals of old. (Needless to say, it does not appear in the Latin, either.)

[/quote]

I made no reference to the APA Handbook. You might want to re-read my original entry. My reference is to the AP Stylebook as in Associated Press.

I just dug out my copy of the AP (not APA) Stylebook. With reference to the AP Stylebook (not the APA Handbook):

Capitalize the proper names used for a sacramental rite that commerates the life of Jesus Christ or signifies a belief in his presence: the Lord's supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist.

Lowercase the names of other sacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance (now often called the sacrament of reconciliation), matrimony, holy orders, and the sacrament of annointing of the sick (formerly extreme unction). .

Associated Press Stylebook (not the APA Handbook) page 225 (2002 edition).

I also would add that no handbook is definitive. Different organizations and professions have different rules as to what is capitalized. The style that I learned in law school ("Blue Book") is very different from the AP style that I learned as an undergrad journalism major which is very different from the MLA style that I used when writing a research paper in my English and history classes. So what might not look correct to us might be correct by the style used by the translators of the Creed.


#10

Different languages have different rules for capitalization. FWIW, bautismo is not capitalized in the Spanish text.


#11

[quote="PacoG, post:9, topic:330722"]
I made no reference to the APA Handbook. You might want to re-read my original entry. My reference is to the AP Stylebook as in Associated Press.

I just dug out my copy of the AP (not APA) Stylebook. With reference to the AP Stylebook (not the APA Handbook):
Capitalize the proper names used for a sacramental rite that commerates the life of Jesus Christ or signifies a belief in his presence: the Lord's supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist.

Lowercase the names of other sacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance (now often called the sacrament of reconciliation), matrimony, holy orders, and the sacrament of annointing of the sick (formerly extreme unction).
.

Associated Press Stylebook (not the APA Handbook) page 225 (2002 edition).

I also would add that no handbook is definitive. Different organizations and professions have different rules as to what is capitalized. The style that I learned in law school ("Blue Book") is very different from the AP style that I learned as an undergrad journalism major which is very different from the MLA style that I used when writing a research paper in my English and history classes. So what might not look correct to us might be correct by the style used by the translators of the Creed.

[/quote]

You are right; I misread the OP. :bowdown2:


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.