The Symbol of Faith
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
After reciting the creed the priest asks three times,
“Have you united yourself to Christ?”
The Catechumen responds each time,
“I have united myself to Christ”
The Catechumen then bows down saying,
“I bow down before the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, one in essence and undivided.”
Creeds first appeared and were first used in the context of catechetical preparation. They served to summarize weeks of instruction given before the celebration of Pascha. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, which means "I believe." In the Orthodox Church the creed is normally called the Symbol of Faith because for us it is the "expression" or "confession" of faith in Christ. Here faith in Christ is symbolized by recitation of the Creed and sealed with bowing down, and the confession of God as Trinity. Bowing down is a universal symbol of reverence, love, and obedience. Therefore, in the sacrament of Baptism, knowledge about Christ becomes knowledge of Christ. Knowledge of Christ through the sacramental life of the Church grows into knowledge of God as Trinity. This growing relationship is the fulfillment of knowledge itself and the content of eternal life.