Why do we recite the Creeds and Catechisms as part of weekly worship?
The Creeds and Catechisms teach the big issues of the Christian Faith in summary. Creeds are a beautiful part of church history because they have helped Christians understand, remember, proclaim, defend, and enjoy what we believe for thousands of years. Any church that uses them well will be richer in its faith for it. As a Congregation we are currently working our way through the Heidelberg Catechism.
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) was composed in the city of Heidelberg, Germany, at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the province of the Palatinate from 1559 to 1576. The new catechism was intended as a tool for teaching young people, a guide for preaching in the provincial churches, and a form of confessional unity among the several Protestant factions in the Palatinate.
The Synod of Dort approved the Heidelberg Catechism in 1619, and it soon became the most ecumenical of the Reformed catechisms and confessions. It has been translated into many European, Asian, and African languages and is still the most widely used and warmly praised catechism of the Reformation period.
The Heidelberg Catechism is composed of 129 questions and answers and is divided into four basic parts: Introduction, Human Misery, God’s Deliverance, and Gratitude. Within each category are subcategories dealing with more specific elements covering the basic doctrines of Christianity. The questions and answers of the Heidelberg Catechism are arranged into 52 “Lord’s Days” so that the whole catechism can be easily taught in one year. Each answer in written form also contains Scripture references that support the answers.