What is the translation of the "Credo"?

The Translation and History of the Credo

Within The Royal Monastery of Brou is a beautiful stained glass depiction of Jesus Christ appearing to the pilgrims at Emmaus.
Within The Royal Monastery of Brou is a beautiful stained glass depiction of Jesus Christ appearing to the pilgrims at Emmaus. Fred De Noyelle/GODONG/Getty Images

"What is the translation of the "Credo"?" is a question that is often asked by people practicing religion, studying religious texts, or preparing for a performance in which knowing the meaning of the text can add to the quality of the performance.

Since its creation over 1,000 years ago, the Credo has taken many forms, musically speaking. Though it would be impossible to know how many melodies have been set to this religious text, there are a few pieces that have managed to stick around for hundreds of years.  As you read through the lyrics and translations below, listen to one of these recommended recordings of the Credo.

  • Mozart's Credo from Mass in C Major, KV 257 
  • Schubert's Credo from Mass No. 2 in G major, D. 167 
  • Vaughan Williams's Credo from Mass in G Minor 
  • Bach's Credo from Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 
  • Beethoven's Credo from Mass in C Major, Op. 86 

Latin Lyrics

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem,
factorem coeli et terrae,
visibilium omnium, et invisibilium.
Et in umum Dominum Jesum Christum,
Filium Dei unigenitum.
Et ex Patre natum ante omni saecula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero.
Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri,
per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines,
et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto
ex Maria Virgine. Et homo factus est.
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato,
passus, et sepultus est.
Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas.
Et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et interum venturus est cum gloria,
judicare vivos et mortuos,
cujus regni non erit finis.
Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum, et vivificantem,
qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
Qui cum Patre, et Filio simul adoratur
et conglorificatur, qui locutus est per Prophetas.
Et unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam Ecclesiam.
Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum.
Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

English Translation

I believe in one God, Father almighty,
maker of heaven and of earth,
visible of all things, and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God only begotten.
And of Father born before all ages.
God from God, light from light, God true from God true.
Begotten, not made, of one substance with Father,
by whom all things made were. Who for us men,
and for our salvation descended from heavens.
And made flesh was of Spirit Holy
of Mary Virgin. And man made was.
Crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate,
suffered, and was buried.
And he rose third day, according to Scriptures.
And he ascended into heaven, he sits at right hand of Father.
And again he is going to come with glory,
to judge living and dead,
of whose kingdom will never end.
And in Spirit Holy Lord, and life-giver,
who from Father and Son proceeds.
Who with Father, and Son together is adored
and glorified, who spoke through Prophets.
And one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for remission of sins.
And I expect resurrection of dead.
And life to come of age. Amen.

What is the history of the Credo?

The Credo or "creed" was ​the last addition to the Mass, which is sometimes referred to as the Eucharist. The Mass is a central act of divine worship within the Catholic Church.  The history of the Credo's evolution is quite complex; for example, the Credo exists in three forms: Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed. The version that is commonly used in the Mass today is the Nicene Creed. It was approved for use by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. From there, it was introduced to Spain by the Council of Toledo in 589, the eucharistic liturgy in Constantinople in the 6th century, and the Gallican rite in France by Charlemagne’s liturgical advisor. In 1014, German Emperor Henry II insisted that Pope Benedict VIII introduce it to the Roman rite. Finally, in the 11th century, the Credo was included in the Mass Ordinary.