The Profession of Faith
Paragraph 5. The Communion of Saints
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?”
of saints is the Church.
“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
“As this Church is governed by one and the same
Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common
The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely
linked meanings: communion “in holy things (
“among holy persons (
(“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 (
) are fed by Christ’s holy
body and blood (
) to grow in the communion of the
Holy Spirit (
) and to communicate it to the world.
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.”
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.
10: PL 52:871B.
480 St. Thomas Aquinas,
I, 10, 24.