You will hear the Deacon or the Priest intone,
The doors, The doors, in wisdom let us be attentive.
This announces the recitation of the Creed which immediately follows. In the Apostolic instructions it says, "Let the doors of the Church temple be guarded, in case someone who is unfaithful or uninitiated enter. And if a certain brother or sister comes with a reference letter from another region may the deacon examine what pertains to them..., whether they are defiled by heresy." Today we are much more lax. We must remember, though, that the church is a scared place only for the worship of the Triune God.
We can take this command allegorically to mean, take heed of your senses, mind, and thoughts. Do not let yourself be dominated by the things of this world. Guard the entrance to the temple in your own heart where God is within you.
The Creed is a "symbol of faith" stating what we believe as Christians. We recite it together to show that we are united in heart and mind in our beliefs about God. Almost all the statements are from the Bible.
The Creed was written at the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD and amended in Second Ecumenical Council in 381 AD. It was agreed to never change it and it remains unchanged in the Orthodox Tradition.
The Creed is as follows:
- I believe in one (1) God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible.
- And in one (1) Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-be-gotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all Ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father, through Whom all things were made.
- Who for us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became Man.
- He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and He suffered and was buried.
- And He rose on the third day according to the Scriptures.
- He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
- And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; His kingdom shall have no end.
- And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son, is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke through the Prophets.
- I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
- I confess One Baptism for the remission of sins.
- I look for the resurrection of the dead.
- And the life of the Age to come.
We end the creed with "Amen" which should be said in a loud cry.
During the recitation of the Creed the Priest picks up the "Aer", the veil covering the Gifts, and waves it over the Chalice and the Diskarion. This practice is a relic of the first Liturgies, some held outdoors and some in chapels with no windows. For fear that any insect might fall into the unveiled Chalice, two deacons or acolytes held large fans on either side of the Holy Altar. In place of this fanning the Priest waves the "Aer" (the veil).
However, the Church has also given a symbolism to the waving of the Aer. Just as in all contests or wars, ultimately the victor raises his flag, also in this case, the Faith has triumphed over all heresies, over all worldly bodies and now waves victoriously over all. The Aer is lowered during the 6th Article of the Creed which states that Christ ascended into Heaven.