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4th part of the religious text: “Holy Tradition: The Source of the Orthodox Faith”

The Seven Ecumenical Councils: The Creed

The doctrinal definitions of an Ecumenical Council are infallible. Thus in the eyes of the Orthodox Church, the statements of faith put out by the Seven Councils possess, along with the Bible, an abiding and irrevocable authority.


The most important of all the Ecumenical statements of faith is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, which is read or sung at every celebration of the Eucharist, and also daily at Nocturns and at Compline.

The other two Creeds used by the west, the Apostles’ Creed and the ‘Athanasian Creed,’ do not possess the same authority as the Nicene, because they have not been proclaimed by an Ecumenical Council.

Orthodox honour the Apostles’ Creed as an ancient statement of faith, and accept its teaching; but it is simply a local western Baptismal Creed, never used in the services of the Eastern Patriarchates. The ‘Athanasian Creed’ likewise is not used in Orthodox worship, but it is sometimes printed (without the filioque) in the Horologion (Book of Hours).

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