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The Profession of Faith

247

Paragraph 5. The Communion of Saints

946

After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’

Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this

article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the

Church if not the assembly of all the saints?”

479

The communion

of saints is the Church.

947

“Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is

communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that

there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most

important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the

riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the

sacraments.”

480

“As this Church is governed by one and the same

Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common

fund.”

481

948

The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely

linked meanings: communion “in holy things (

sancta

)” and

“among holy persons (

sancti

).”

Sancta sanctis!

(“God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people”) is

proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during

the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of

communion. The faithful (

sancti

) are fed by Christ’s holy

body and blood (

sancta

) to grow in the communion of the

Holy Spirit (

koinonia

) and to communicate it to the world.

I.

C

ommunion

in

S

piritual

G

oods

949

In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples

“devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to

the breaking of the bread and the prayers.”

482

Communion in the faith.

The faith of the faithful is the faith

of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life

which is enriched by being shared.

479 Nicetas,

Expl. symb.

10: PL 52:871B.

480 St. Thomas Aquinas,

Symb.

, 10.

481

Roman Catechism

I, 10, 24.

482

Acts

2:42.

1474-1477

823

790

1331

185