The word creed comes from Latin, credo, which means I believe. It’s a statement of what we believe, teach, and confess. It first entered the Divine Service in 589 AD and became an ordinary part of the liturgy in 1014 AD. It serves as our “amen” to the Gospel as it declares the truth of the Triune God and His work of salvation accomplished through Jesus Christ’s incarnation (Matthew 10:32-33; 16:13-17; Romans 10:9-10; Philippians 2:5-11). While we hold to three ancient creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian), we only confess two of them regularly in the liturgy.
The Apostles’ Creed, while not written by the apostles, developed from their teaching (Scripture) through the writings of the first and second century Church Fathers. In its earliest form it was a baptismal creed that converts confessed publicly at their baptisms, revealing that they knew and held to the Christian faith.
The Nicene Creed originated in 325 AD in response to heresy surrounding Christ’s divinity. It’s usually confessed when Communion is celebrated since it is a fuller statement of the Faith, especially with respect to the person of Christ.