"We Believe" or "I Believe"

During the Nicene Creed, we have a few individuals in our parish who insist on saying “I believe…” instead of “We believe…” A couple of them say it rather quietly and one would only notice if they happen to be standing next to one of these persons. But one shouts it out. I do not know the reason for this change in wording, but it can be very distracting and disrupting especially with the shouting.

I just wonder why this change of wording is going on. Is there some notice of change that we are supposed to be observing?

I haven’t heard of a change, but from what I understand the original Latin used first person singular rather than plural. I do not know why exactly the English version in our missals use first person plural.:shrug: I would appreciate someone correcting me if I’m wrong.

Yes, there is. Ever since Creeds were first used (going back to Apostolic times) they’ve used the singular “I believe.” In the 1960s ICEL decided to change that and mis-translate the Latin into English as “We believe.” The new translation of the Mass (not yet official in the US) will correct this and use “I believe.”

Yes, it is distracting and disrupting, and people should not be doing this (it’s one thing to do it unawares, such as if a person is from an Eastern Church where they never changed), but people should not be trying to change the words used at Mass on their own. Even if the change itself is correct, they should not be doing it, most especially the way you’ve described of “shouting.”

They should wait until the new translation is promulgated. Until then, as inaccurate as the present translation is in some places, they should say that one. (Or say it in Latin, which is certainly licit, but in an unobtrusive manner.)

Yes, that is what I have been doing of late (saying it in Latin-quietly). In Spanish, the “I believe” was retained for the Nicene Creed.

Interestingly enough, “I believe” was retained for the Apostles Creed. Go figure. :shrug:

Where as the Apostles Creed is a Baptismal Creed, and is more of individual in significance, using “I” would be more appropriate. However, the Nicene Creed when used using the “WE” is being said by Catholics, at Mass, who are in Communion with each other. The Nicene Creed saying “WE” is just the whole of Catholic faith proclaiming as one. Just one mans opinion. :slight_smile:

FWIW, the Syriac Churches (both Western and Eastern, CC and OC) traditionally use the first person plural form for the Creed. I’m not familiar with the way it’s done in the Alexandrene and Armenian Churches.

This is true but when WE say the rosary we say the Apostles Creed and say “I”. So we are saying a collective prayer and yet individual. But then some pray the rosary differently as I am learning. Our Knights of C. lead it some for the children now, and don’t lead it the same way. My confusion was the difference in length of the creeds. I have been to some Masses that the priest leads the prayer to Saint Michael at the end. I hope the diversity doesn’t change.

“We” is an incorrect translation, “I” is correct. I understand the new Mass changes will require the correct version be used.

This falls apart when you look at actual usage. The Apostles Creed is used in the exact same place at Mass when the Mass for Children is used or in countries with permission (such as Canada).

So you are saying that we American - English speakers using a bad translation of the Nicene Creed are somehow more “in Communion with each other” than the rest of the universal Church? :wink: (Just joking with you)

This subject reminds me of something similar that happened when I was a child. There was an elderly man who attended Mass at the parish that I grew up in who always read loudly the English translation in the missal while the rest of us prayed in Latin. At a parish gathering shortly after the change went into effect of praying the Mass in the vernacular, the pastor put his arm around old Mr. G_____ and half praised him for living to see the day when the Mass was in English and yet in a kind but instructing way, he told us that we need to be patient and obedient when waiting for these good changes come about.

This is a very interesting question. Just recently I heard - and I’m really sorry I can’t remember where, but I do believe it was EWTN - that saying “I believe” is correct because we can only speak for ourselves. We don’t know what others believe. And having heard just about every kind of belief espoused by Catholics, I can only agree with that. :frowning:

So yes, “I believe” is correct.

The Nicene Creed, as originally promulaged by the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople, were in the plural: “We believe.”

Liturgical use, however, has for the most part been in the singular, “I believe”, heretofore. There are, of course, historical exceptions.

However, in the Mozarabic rite, it’s in the plural, “Credimus”. Furthermore, the text shows some other differences from the usual Roman-Latin form.

=zab;5130751]During the Nicene Creed, we have a few individuals in our parish who insist on saying “I believe…” instead of “We believe…” A couple of them say it rather quietly and one would only notice if they happen to be standing next to one of these persons. But one shouts it out. I do not know the reason for this change in wording, but it can be very distracting and disrupting especially with the shouting.

I just wonder why this change of wording is going on. Is there some notice of change that we are supposed to be observing?

While either and both are correct, they nevertheless are making different satements about the Catholic Faith.

“I Believe” is much like “Amen!” I do personaly belive, live and practice the RC Faith!

“We Believe” is a factual, but perhaps less emphatic proclaimation of our Community of Believers.

I’m going to get flack on this next statement, but … Oh well!

To me personaly “I” comes before “we”. Faith is first personal, than, once one has it, it becomes communal. One cannot share what one does dot have in ones own posession.

Love and prayers,

Yes, quite so … I’d forgotten that the Mozarabic uses the plural.

I think that the differences between the “I believe” and “We believe” have in the past years been needlessly exaggerated by all sides, over the larger issue of the accurately translating the Latin, with pseudo-theological or pastoral reasons given why “I” or “We” is more ideal. Both are actually pretty fine and people should adhere to what is the official version in whatever language it is being recited in. If you look at it, the singular “Credo” made a lot of sense for so many centuries in the Roman liturgy because the first line was always said by the celebrant.

That said, it can get pretty confusing for people when the Apostle’s Creed is used everywhere else, and sometimes even at Mass as a substitute for the Nicene Creed.

Yes, but only in the Latin-Rite OF. In the Orient and East, as well as the Latin-Rite EF, the Creed is always the Nicene-Constantinopolitan.

Except in an English translation of the Ethiopian Catholic liturgy as used in the USA, for some unknown reason, it uses the Apostles’ Creed.

Maybe they are trying to show how American they are, assuming that the Latin rite is the standard?

Probably. Sounds like another case of Villot, Bugnini, & Co, Liturgical Butchers Extraordinaire doing what they do best (or worst, depending on one’s point of view – guess which one one I hold).

I chose my user name because of the Apostles Creed :slight_smile:

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