Apostles' Creed, The

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Ancient formula of Christian belief in three sections concerning God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Although its authorship is attributed to the twelve apostles, opinions vary concerning its origin. Its title dates from the late fourth century, and it may be based on a shorter form of the creed in use at Rome in the middle of the second century. The Apostles' Creed may be considered to be an authentic expression of the apostolic faith. It contains twelve articles, and is known as the baptismal creed because catechumens were traditionally required to recite it before baptism. It was the basis for the original baptismal formula. Candidates were baptized by immersion or affusion after their response of faith to each of the three questions concerning Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Apostles' Creed is the basis for the baptismal covenant in the BCP (p. 304), and it is used in the Daily Offices. It may be used at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, at the Burial of the Dead, and at the Consecration of a Church.