Trinity symbol

The Athanasian Hymn

A version by Simon Hewitt

Note: A friend with whom frequently I celebrate the office and I have for some time bemoaned the falling out of use of the "Athanasian creed" (which, as someone put it to me, isn't by Athanasius, and isn't a creed!). Below is a version adapted in the light of modern conceptual frameworks, which comrades are invited to make use of and/or comment on. Apologies, in advance, for the poor quality of my liturgical poetry. Best wishes to you all, -- Simon

The God who sets us free

The God who sets us free : this God the Catholic faith proclaims
Without whose liberating love : the world shall perish everlastingly
And the Catholic faith is this : that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity
Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Godhead
For one Person is the Lover, another the Beloved : and another the Spirit of Love
But the Godhead of all three is one : the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal
That which the Lover is, so is the Beloved : and so is the Spirit of Love
The Lover uncreated, the Beloved uncreated : and the Spirit uncreated
The Lover unsearchable, the Beloved unsearchable : and the Spirit unsearchable
The Lover eternal, the Beloved eternal : and the Spirit eternal
But yet they are not three eternals : but one eternal
Still also there are not three unsearchables, nor three uncreateds : but only one uncreated, and one unsearchable
So likewise the Lover is almighty, the Beloved almighty : and the Spirit of Love almighty
And yet there are not three almighties : but one almighty
So the Lover is God, the Beloved is God : and the Spirit of Love is God
And yet they are not three Gods : but one God
Still also the Lover is Lord, the Beloved is Lord : and the Spirit of Love is Lord
And yet these are not three Lords : for there is one Lord, and one Kingdom
For in the liberation of God's people : each Person is met as Lord and as God
So also, in that liberation : one God alone saves; there are not three Gods, or three Lords
The Lover is made of none : neither created, nor begotten
The Beloved is of the Lover alone : not made, nor created, but begotten of love from all eternity
The Spirit of Love is of the Lover and the Beloved : neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding as the bond of love from all eternity
So there is one Lover, not three Lovers; one Beloved, not three Beloved : one Spirit, not three Spirits
And in this Trinity none is before, or after another : none is greater, or less than another;
But the three Persons share eternity together : and are equal to one another
Therefore at all times and in all places : the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
It is this Trinity that sets us free : to the Trinity belongs the Kingdom, to the Trinity belongs all praise
The one in whom we are set free : is God Incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ
And we believe and confess : that our Lord Jesus Christ, him who is eternally Beloved, is both God and human
God of the Godhead of the Lover, born from love before the worlds : and a man, of the humanity of his Mother, born out of love in the world;
Perfect in Godhead, perfect in humanity : like us in all things but sin
Equal to the Lover, regarding his Godhead : and inferior to the Lover, regarding his humanity
Who, although he is both God and human being : is not two, but one Christ
One, not by the conversion of the Godhead into flesh : but by taking of our humanity into God;
One altogether, not by the mingling of humanity and Godhead : but by the taking of humanity by the Beloved of God
For as we are one with our most intimate thoughts : so God and humanity is one Christ
Who suffered for our salvation : descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead
He ascended into heaven, he sits on the right hand of the Lover, God Almighty : from where he shall come to judge the living and the dead
At whose coming creation shall be restored : and all shall rise, in spiritual bodies, to the glorious freedom of the children of God
And justice and peace shall triumph : and oppression shall be ended everlastingly.
This is the Catholic Faith : this God is the God who sets us free.
Glory to the Lover, and to the Beloved, and to the Spirit of Love,
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Oxford, UK, May 2002

Home Traditional Values The Heritage Friends and Companions Liturgical Ramblings Something of William Morris Some Good Reading Some Links The Jubilee Group