The Nicene Creed is the summary of our Catholic faith. We proclaim it every Sunday at Mass. All that we teach throughout the year in religious education has a foundation in the Nicene Creed.
Therefore, it is helpful to teach your students to memorize the creed, understand its meaning, meditate on the words, and pray to our God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This lesson plan and collection of Nicene Creed activities should help your students experience the creed and the God we profess at a deeper level.
Nicene Creed Lesson Plan
Nicene Creed Lesson Objectives
- Students will be able to recite the Nicene Creed.
- Students will be able to define key words in the Nicene Creed.
- Students will feel grateful for their memories of each person of the Trinity.
Learn: How to Teach Kids to Memorize the Nicene Creed
The simplest way to learn the words of the Nicene Creed is to practice saying it out loud as many times as possible.
Include it as a part of your regular prayers. Recite it at the end of class if you find it to be helpful.
Another approach is to give students a fill-in-the-blank Nicene Creed worksheet. They will need to recite the creed in their heads and write in the missing words.
I created a Nicene Creed worksheet as a part of the New Roman Missal Activity Pack, which you can download here:
Bonus: A subscriber to The Religion Teacher Newsletter translated the Nicene Creed Worksheet into Spanish. You can download it here:
Learn: Explaining the Meaning of the Nicene Creed
Help students understand the most difficult words of the Nicene Creed with a few quick definitions.
Some of the most challenging words might be:
- incarnate (incarnation)
Here are some videos that might help explain these words:
The reality is, however, your students will be unfamiliar with more words than you realize.
Give them a few minutes to read through the Nicene Creed and highlight or mark words they do not understand. In addition to a verbal explanation of each unfamiliar word, draw a picture on the board to help solidify the meaning of the words.
Meditation: Nicene Creed Memory Meditations
Now it is time to personalize the Nicene Creed for the students. Each part of the creed expresses our beliefs about the Trinity: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Students will have memories about their experiences with each part of the Trinity even if it is memories of learning about each person during this school year.
Have them fold a piece of paper into three parts. In each column have them write or draw memories, images, ideas, and thoughts they have gained about each person of Trinity.
Prayer: A Nicene Creed Prayer Activity
Have students read the Nicene Creed then prepare prayers to each person of the Trinity. Give them simple prayer starters:
- Dear God the Father almighty:
- Dear Lord Jesus Christ:
- Dear Holy Spirit, Lord, giver of life:
Contemplation: Renew Baptismal Promises
The baptismal promises we recite during baptisms and Easter express our belief in the creed. The words of these vows are taken from the creed.
As a final contemplative prayer experience, invite students to renew their baptismal promises in class. These were the promises made by their parents during their baptisms or the promises they made if they were baptized at an older age. These are the promises they renew each Easter season.
Here is a simple prayers for your students to respond “I do”: Renewal of Baptismal Promises Prayer
Lesson Assessment: Correct the Creed
Give students an incorrect version of the Nicene Creed. Replace some of the words and see if they can find the errors.
Or give them a copy of the older translation of the Nicene Creed that was updated with the new translation of the Roman Missal in 2011.
Other Nicene Creed Activities
Here is a collection of Nicene Creed activities from other websites that you can use in class to help teach the creed and what it means for the students and their lives.
Nicene Creed Activities (The Catholic Toolbox)
Nicene Creed PowerPoint (St. Mary’s Press)
The Creed: Words to Know Activities (Look to Him and Be Radiant)
Three Ways to Teach the Creed to Younger Children (Catechist’s Journey)
Nicene Creed Printable Worksheets
The Nicene Creed (RCL Benziger, Be My Disciples)
Nicene Creed Crafts
Nicene Creed Craft: One God (Catholic Icing)
We Are the Church Printable Craft (Look to Him and Be Radiant)
I Believe Mobile (Look to Him and Be Radiant)
Nicene Creed Games
The Creed Game (Loyola Press)
Nicene Creed File Folder Game (The Catholic Toolbox)
The Creed Tetris Game (Look to Him and Be Radiant)
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Download The Religion Teacher’s Nicene Creed Printable Worksheet
Don’t forget to grab your copy of the Nicene Creed Worksheet to help your students learn it by heart. Both a basic version with a word bank and a difficult version are included.
Meditate on the Meaning of the Apostles’ Creed
The Religion Teacher’s Creed Worksheets includes a printable handout for each of the twelve articles of the Apostles’ Creed. Students will reflect on the meaning of each phrase in the Creed to grow deeper in their faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.