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The Communion of Saints

Luke

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Here is a copy of our creed:

    I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence
    with the Father through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and
    became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and
    is seated at the right hand of the Father; And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the
    prophets.

    In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

    I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.

    Amen.

I do not see the phrase, "Communion of the saints."
 

HaydenTE

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I pray for all bishops
I believe he’s referring to the Apostle’s Creed
 

Vanhyo

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Luke said:
Here is a copy of our creed:

    I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence
    with the Father through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and
    became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and
    is seated at the right hand of the Father; And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the
    prophets.

    In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

    I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.

    Amen.
Yes, this is our faith, the faith of the holy fathers.


I dont think protestantism have saints, they do have some protesting corpses that can't intercede for you or work miracles because they are not facing God in heaven but are themselves in trouble.
 

FormerReformer

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David Young said:
If you Orthodox recite the same creed as we do, what do you understand by the phrase "the communion of saints"?
We recite the Nicene-Constantinople Creed, the text of which is quoted above by Luke. The Apostle's Creed is the one that contains "the communion of saints" and is generally said by churches of the Western tradition (including our own Western Rite parishes).

That distinction made, we would understand the "communion of saints" as referring to the unity of saints both present in the Church here on earth and the saints who have departed and still intercede for us before the Throne of Heaven.
 

WPM

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" Those who have gone before us."
 

platypus

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As far as I know, the Apostle’s creed is only used in the Western rite so many Orthodox probably haven’t heard it. Here is how I understand the communion of saints: we each receive Christ’s body in the Eucharist. It unites us to him. And you are what you eat, so the Church is the body of Christ. The faithful, being Christ’s body, are united together since Christ is one. And since there is only one Eucharist, the faithful of the past are still in communion with us. In receiving Christ, I am in communion with not just him, but also St. John Chrysostom, with Solzhenitsyn, with St. John of San Francisco, with all the faithful on earth and in heaven.
Since those in heaven are in the Church with us, in communion with us, we ask them for our prayers just as we’d ask our fellow churchgoers who we see each Sunday.
I’ll bet one of the more educated forum members can give you a better answer, but this is how I’ve always understood it.
 

David Young

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Thank y'all so far. I did not realise the Orthodox do not use The Apostles' Creed (except Western Rite), so my puzzle was probably a puzzle also to you. However, if you do not recite the words, it seems that maybe you hold the concept, and that for you, the concept or meaning of communion includes asking the prayers of the saints, and thus some sort of communication. We do say the The Apostles' Creed, but I reckon hardly any of us (including me) have a clue as to what it meant to the people who originally wrote it.

I think the same applies to the phrase "the holy catholic church". They know it doesn't mean Rome, and they assume it simply means world-wide or universal (and indeed, the translation of the Creed has been changed from catholic to say just that). But I reckon that, if we are to say any ancient creed, we ought in good conscience to mean what the original writers meant, not keep the words but change the meaning. That is what liberal theologians 100 years ago did to the word evangelical, and we rightly deplore it there.

The same applies to the word for - baptism for the remission of sins - but we have discussed this at such length previously that I shan't go into it again.
 

sestir

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There is a Wikipedia page about this expression.

I like the Armenian definition listed there:
"The Communions of the Saints" in the Armenian Church is understood in a twofold sense; first, of the union of members of the Church with the Head Christ; and, secondly, of the mutual help and support of these same members in obtaining enjoying, and preserving the common good things or graces of the Church.

Malan Solomon Caesar, in turn citing Hymns for the feast of the Churh, v. 462, sq.
In Caesar's book, it is used in a longer creed, which includes a part of the Roman Formula:

... Maker of things visible and invisible. We believe in a Holy Church, a Remission of sins, a Communion of saints. We believe [that] One of the three Persons, the Word God, begotten of ...  (page 257)
 
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