The Holy Spirit is called “the Lord and the Giver of Life” in the Creed. By assigning him the title “Lord,” he is given the same honor and glory as the Father and the Son. In fact, the Creed goes on to say that he is “adored and glorified” with the Son and the Father. Thus, the Holy Spirit has the fullness of the one divine essence. Since we only worship God, the Creed makes clear that the Holy Spirit receives the same worship due to the Father and the Son.
He is given the title “Giver of Life” as his role is always to bring life. The Holy Spirit is the one who is breathed into the dust of the earth to create man and hovers over the waters at the beginning of creation. By bringing life, the Holy Spirit brings God’s life in touch with God’s creation. Most definitively he overshadows the Virgin Mary to help bring about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. We see yet again these actions of God drawing his creation into relationship with him.
One special way the Holy Spirit draws creation into a relationship with God is his inspiration through the prophets. This phrase in the Creed feels almost tacked on. After focusing on the glories of his role in God’s plan, we hear and almost miss this fact that he inspires. This inspiration of the prophets is to look forward to the coming of the Son and, more broadly, he inspires the Scriptures through which we read about Jesus, both the foretelling of his coming in the Old Testament and his life and ministry in the New. By inspiring the Bible, the Holy Spirit is always vivifies and makes it an encounter with the Word of God, who is the Son. Thereby he draws us more deeply into communion with God.
Father Harrison Ayre is a priest of the Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia. Follow him on Twitter at @FrHarrison. Read the series of articles on The Creed here.