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Trinity Sunday – The Athanasian Symbol

Today is Trinity Sunday.  As a Benedictine Oblate I recite the office of Lauds first thing in the morning.  Today in the Benedictine Office the ‘Athanasian Symbol’ or ‘Athanasian Creed’ is recited.  Whilst scholars do not now believe that this creed was written by St Athanasius it is nonetheless an approved creed of the Catholic Church. No harm to recite it today in Ireland given the recent apostate result of our referendum on same sex relationships.

 

Whoever desires to be saved, above all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.
Which unless every man keep whole and inviolate, without doubt he will perish forever.
But the Catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.
Neither confusing the Persons, nor dividing the substance.
For one is the person of the Father, another that of the Son, another that of the Holy Ghost.
But there is only one divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, an equal glory, and coeternal majesty.
As the Father is, such the Son, and such the Holy Ghost.
Uncreated is the Father, uncreated the Son, and uncreated is the Holy Ghost.
Infinite is the Father, infinite the Son, and infinite the Holy Ghost.
Eternal is the Father, eternal the Son, and eternal is the Holy Ghost.
And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
Just as they are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, but one uncreated and one infinite.
Likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Ghost is almighty.
And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord.
And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
For as we are constrained by Catholic truth to confess that each single Person is God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there are three Gods or Lords.
The Father is made by none, neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father only, not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but all three Persons are coeternal and coequal to each other.
So that in all things, as has been said before, we must worship unity in the Trinity and the Trinity in Unity.
He, therefore, who desires to be saved, must think thus about the Trinity.

But it is necessary for eternal salvation, that he faithfully believe also in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For this is the right faith:  that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man.
He is God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before all ages, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in time.
Perfect God and perfect man, subsisting with a rational soul and human flesh.
Equal to the Father according to His divinity, less than the Father according to His humanity.
Who, although He is God and man, yet is not two, but one Christ.
One however, not by any change of divinity into flesh, but by the taking up of humanity into God.
One, indeed, not by a merging of substance, but because of the unity of person.
For as the rational soul and flesh is one man: so God and man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, on the third day rose from the dead.
Ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
At Whose coming all men shall rise with their bodies, and give an account of their own works.
And those who have done good, shall enter into eternal life; while those who did evil, everlasting fire.
That is the Catholic faith: which unless every man faithfully and firmly believe, he cannot be saved.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
Amen.

 

Follow John Lacken:
John Lacken is married to Naomi since November 12th 1988. They have eight children, two girls and six boys, all of whom were delivered by caesarian section. John writes about Catholic marriage for the Irish fortnightly newspaper Catholic Voice. Recently John founded an organisation called 'Legio Sanctae Familiae' who purpose is to promote the authentic traditional Catholic teachings on marriage and to help Catholic families to live their family lives according to those teachings. You can contact John using this contact form