What happened at Laodicea & Nicaea?

The Council of NICAEA

Held in the city of Nicaea in Bursa, Turkey 325AD

This ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the Church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. Hosius of Cordoba, who was probably one of the Papal legates, may have presided over its deliberations.

Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law:

  • The Arian question regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son (not only in his incarnate form as Jesus, but also in his nature before the creation of the world); i.e., are the Father and Son one in divine purpose only or also one in being?
  • The date of celebration of Easter
  • The Meletian schism
  • Organizational structure of the Church: focused on the ordering of the episcopacy
  • Dignity standards for the clergy: issues of ordination at all levels and of suitability of behavior and background for clergy
  • Reconciliation of the lapsed: establishing norms for public repentance and penance
  • Re-admission to the Church of heretics and schismatics: including issues of when re-ordination and/or re-baptism were to be required
  • Liturgical practice: including the place of deacons, and the practice of standing at prayer during liturgy

The Council of LAODICEA

Held in Laodicea, in Phrygia Pacatiana 363-364AD

The major concerns of the Council involved regulating the conduct of church members. The Council expressed its decrees in the form of written rules or canons. Among the sixty canons decreed, several aimed at:

  • Maintaining order among bishops, clerics and laypeople (canons 3–5, 11–13, 21–27, 40–44, 56–57)
  • Enforcing modest behaviour of clerics and laypeople (canons 4, 27, 30, 36, 53–55)
  • Regulating approach to heretics (canons 6–10, 31–34, 37),
  • Jews (canons 16, 37–38) and pagans (canon 39)
  • Outlawing the keeping of the Sabbath (Saturday) and encouraging rest on the Sunday (canon 29)
  • Outlining liturgical practices (canons 14–20, 21–23, 25, 28, 58–59)
  • Restrictions during Lent (canons 45, 49–52)
  • Admission and instruction of catechumens (person preparing for confirmation) and neophytes (new convert) – (canons 45–48)
  • Specifying which books to be in Biblical canon (canons 59–60)