Statement of faith dating from the fourth or fifth centuries. It is also known by its opening Latin words as the Quicunque Vult, "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith." The creed is attributed to St. Athanasius (296-373), but this attribution has generally been discounted since the Athanasian Creed includes doctrinal expressions that appeared only in later theological controversies. It was considered to express the faith that Athanasius taught. It is unlike other standard creeds because of its length and its anathemas against those who would deny its doctrines. The creed emphasizes the triune nature of God and the Incarnation. Although it was used in the Church of England on certain principal feasts of the church year, the Athanasian Creed was never appointed for liturgical use in the Episcopal Church. It is published as one of the Historical Documents of the Church in the 1979 BCP (pp. 864-865) .
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.