Functions of the Creed
The Creed serves several important functions for Roman Catholics. First, it narrates the basic Christian myth. The Creed tells the story of God's interface with the world. It claims that Christian belief is embedded in the story of the world. Therefore, the Christian commitment to our world is central. The Creed also interprets Scripture. It does not dictate how Scripture is to be read but provides a guide and direction to the proper reading of Scripture. This is because most all of the language of the Creed is derived from the New Testament. Thus, it frames how one reads the Scriptures.
The Creed provides three other important functions. First, it constructs a worldview for Roman Catholics. When reciting the Creed, the Catholic constructs a world built on the Christian myth and Scripture. This world is countercultural to contemporary life. The radical nature of the Creed becomes readily apparent from its teachings that contradict today's society. Secondly, the Creed guides the actions of Roman Catholics. Since Christianity preaches values and affirms a belief system contradictory to the world in which we live, the Creed guides Catholics' lives in this radical new world. It does not provide answers for every question or specific direction for every crossroad in life, but it does establish right belief (orthodoxy) that helps believers to recognize right practice (orthopraxy). Lastly, the Creed serves as a preparation for worship. As described in Chapter 18, the Creed serves to transition between the two major portions of the Roman Catholic Mass — the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist.