The Celtic Christian Church
Statement of Belief
The faith of the Celtic Christian Church is that of the undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of its existence. It is expressed in the ancient Symbol of Faith called the Nicene Creed, promulgated by the Council of Nicea n 325 CE and enlarged slightly by the Council of Constantinople in 381 CE:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. For us and for our salvation He came down from Heaven, He was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered, died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, He ascended into Heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father. He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom shall have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, and Who spoke through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
The basic source of the faith expressed in the Nicene Creed is Sacred Scripture. The Celtic Christian Church believes that Sacred Scripture (the Bible), which comprises the Old Testament (including the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books) and the New Testament, contains God’s revelation for us, particularly concerning His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that in maters essential to our salvation it is inerrant.
The Celtic Christian Church does not consider the Bible to be a source of information concerning science or any other human discipline. Its purpose is to teach us about God and about His Son Jesus Christ. It does that within the cultural environment of its time and place, hence the need for careful study to understand its message correctly.
Sacred Scripture itself is part of Sacred Tradition, that process by which God’s revelation is passed on to us from the Apostles down through the centuries. This handing on occurs through preaching, teaching, catechesis, devotions, doctrines, and, as noted, the Bible itself. The Church’s Tradition is its living and lived faith. The Celtic Christian Church believes that Sacred Tradition is an inerrant source of God’s revelation in matters essential to our faith and our Christian life.
A very important part of Sacred Tradition is the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils. The Celtic Christian Church believes that the doctrinal definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, that is those which took place in the undivided Christian Church, were guided by the Holy Spirit and it accepts them as part of its faith. Those seven Ecumenical Councils are the Councils of Nicea in 325 CE, Constantinople in 381 CE, Ephesus in 431 CE, Chalcedon in 451 CE, Constantinople II in 533 CE, Constantinople III in 680 CE, and Nicea II in 787 CE. These Councils were concerned essentially with defining the true Christian faith in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ the Son of God made man. God is triune, a single God in three persons, whom Jesus Himself named Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, uniting in His single person both the divine and the human natures.
Equally important in Sacred Tradition are the seven Sacraments. The Celtic Christian Church believes that these Sacraments or Mysteries, which are Baptism and Eucharist, both of which are particularly attested to in Sacred Scripture, and Confirmation or Chrismation, Penance or Reconciliation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and Unction or Anointing of the Sick, are effective signs of the Lord’s continuing presence and action in His Church and efficacious channels of his Grace.
Among the Sacraments, Holy Eucharist holds a special place. The Celtic Christian Church believes that the Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly present, in His humanity and in His divinity, in the bread and wine that have been consecrated in the Eucharistic Liturgy, and that in Holy Communion we receive Him into ourselves to nourish the very life of God within us: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:54)
Mary, mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, holds a special place in the faith of the Celtic Christian Church. It is her role, without being a source of grace herself, to lead all men to her divine Son and Savior. The doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary into heaven, defined in recent centuries by the Roman Catholic Church, are held in deep respect by the Celtic Christian Church, but they do not constitute part of the Church’s faith.
In the Lord Jesus’ plan for his Church, the Apostles and the Bishops hold a special place. The Celtic Christian Church believes that the Bishops, duly consecrated in the unbroken line of Apostolic Succession, are the successors of the Apostles and that they are responsible, as were the Apostles, for the triple ministry of service consisting of preaching and teaching, of sanctifying and of governing. Under the leadership and direction of the Bishops, priests and deacons, empowered by the Sacrament of Holy Orders, minister to all those who come to the Celtic Christian Church for guidance and support on their journey to our Heavenly Father.