12 June 2009

Commemoration of the First Council of Nicea

From our Synod's website:

The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325

The first Council of Nicaea was convened in the early summer of 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine at what is today Isnuk, Turkey. The emperor presided at the opening of the council. The council ruled against the Arians, who taught that Jesus was not the eternal Son of God but was created by the Father and was called Son of God because of his righteousness. The chief opponents of the Arians were Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and his deacon, Athanasius. The council confessed the eternal divinity of Jesus and adopted the earliest version of the Nicene Creed, which in its entirety was adopted at the Council of Constantinople in 381.

The Writing by St. Athanasius today in Treasury is not to be missed!


Past Elder said...

Why 12 June?

The council opened on 20 May, promulgated the creed on 19 June, and closed on 25 July.

William Weedon said...


If you find out, you let me know!

joel in ga said...

That's Iznik, Turkey.

George said...

Because they were prophetic & saw that the date of the Commemoration coincided with my birthday. :)

Past Elder said...

Flying Judas Priest in the aviary, it's my birthday too!

William Weedon said...

Well, belated birthday, George and Terry!!! May God grant you both a joy-filled year - rich in His grace!

Chris said...

Fr. Weedon,

The Orthodox commemorate our fathers of the first ecumenical council on the Sunday after the Ascension. Perhaps the synod decided to celebrate it on 12 June was to make it coincide as close to the Ascension/Pentecost season as possible. The date has nothing to do with old calendar since June 12 would be May 31.

Secondly, the Synodal website is correct that it was at the Council of Constantinople where the creed was put into its final form. However, it should have been more honest and said that the LCMS does not confess the creed as it was finalized but has added the filioque from the innovations of the (Local) Council of Toledo, which was not ecumenical.


William Weedon said...


The Synod does not at all hide the fact that we use the Creed with the filioque, and I am certain that most readers of this blog are well aware that it was added by the council at Toledo. On the filioque, Lutherans stand with most Christians across the face of the globe and throughout time in seeing it as a legitimate unfolding of the original Creed, although certainly there are those (myself among them) who wish that the ecumenical creed had not been altered at all and that the matter had been handled through catechesis.

Past Elder said...

Maybe the larger question is, its commemoration at all in the West.

To my recollection, neither the general Roman calendars before or after the ecclesiastical Sack of Rome commonly known as Vatican II had or have any such feast.

(I don't remember any before, and am too low on Pepto-Bismol or Mylanta to check about after.)

If that is right, then it isn't only why 12 June but to introduce it at all in the calendar. Maybe a borrowing from the East as Chris suggests?

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Well, this is somewhat perplexing. In looking back at my collated data and proposals for the LSB sanctoral cycle, it appears that the date of 12 June was derived from some Eastern (?) source, though I haven't been able to determine which one. We didn't use the standard Eastern date of 20 May, because that is the commemoration of Alcuin of York. At one point, we contemplated the commemoration of both Nicaea and Constantinople I on the same day, and that might also have been a factor. However, at least in my own final proposal, I had recommended 19 June for the Council of Nicaea. I have yet to find any reason for why we chose to retain the 12 June date. Perhaps it was an oversight, or it may be that I'm simply forgetting or not finding the rationale.