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The Athanasian Creed

    Whoever wishes to be saved * must before all else adhere to the Catholic Faith.  He must preserve this Faith whole and untarnished; * otherwise he shall most certainly perish forever. 

    Now this is the Catholic Faith: * that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; Neither confusing the persons * nor distinguishing the nature.   The person of the Father is distinct; the person of the Son is distinct; * the person of the Holy Ghost is distinct. Yet the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost possess one Godhead, * equal glory, and co-eternal majesty. As the Father is, so is the Son, * so also is the Holy Ghost. The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, * the Holy Ghost is uncreated. The Father is infinite, the Son is infinite, * the Holy Ghost is infinite. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, * the Holy Ghost is eternal. Nevertheless, they are not three eternals, * but one Eternal. Even as they are not three uncreateds, or three infinites, * but one Uncreated, and one Infinite. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, * the Holy Ghost is almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, * but one Almighty. So also the Father is God, the Son is God, * the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, * but only one God. So too the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, * the Holy Ghost is Lord. And still there are not three Lords, * but only one Lord. For just as we are compelled by Christian truth to profess that each Person is individually God and Lord, * so also are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to hold that there are three Gods or Lords. 

    The Father was made by no one, * being neither created nor begotten. The Son is from the Father alone, * though not created or made, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, * though neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. Consequently, there is one Father, not three Fathers; there is one Son, not three Sons; * there is one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. Furthermore in this Trinity there is no "before" or "after," no "greater" or "less": * for all three Persons are co-eternal and co-equal. In every respect, therefore, as has already been stated, * unity must be worshipped in Trinity, and Trinity in unity. This is what everyone who wishes to be saved * must hold regarding the Blessed Trinity. 

    But for his eternal salvation, * he must also believe according to the true Faith in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the true Faith requires us to believe and acknowledge * that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man. He is God, begotten of the substance of the Father before the world began; * He is Man, born in the world of the substance of His Mother, Perfect God, perfect Man, * a substance composed of a rational soul and a human body, Equal to the Father in divinity, * less than the Father with respect to His humanity And though He is God and Man, * still He is only one Christ, not two, One, not by any turning of the divinity into flesh, * but by the taking up of humanity into God, One only, not by any confusion of substance, * but by the unity of His person. For just as the rational soul and the body form one man, * so God and Man form one Christ. He suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, * rose from the dead on the third day, Ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father all-powerful, * whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming, all men must rise with their bodies * and must give an account of their own deeds. And those who have done good shall go into eternal life, * while those who have done evil shall go into eternal fire. This is the Catholic Faith, * and anyone who does not believe it fully and firmly cannot be saved.

NOTE:  On the origins of this Creed see The Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. "Athanasian Creed."

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