Celebrated on the fourth day of the month of February, in the year 1546.
In the Name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.
This sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of [Page 16] Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same three legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein,--considering the magnitude of the matters to be treated of, especially of those comprised under the two heads, of the extirpating of heresies, and the reforming of manners, for the sake of which chiefly It is assembled, and recognizing with the apostles, that Its wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the spirits of wickedness in the high places, exhorts, with the same apostle, all and each above all things, to be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power, in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith they may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one, and to take the helmet of salvation, with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Wherefore, that this its pious solicitude may begin and proceed by the grace of God, It ordains and decrees that, before all other things, a confession of faith is to be set forth; following herein the examples of the Fathers, who have been wont, in the most sacred coucils, at the beginning of the Actions thereof, to oppose this shield against heresies; and with this alone, at times, have they drawn the unbelieving to the faith, overthrown heretics, and confirmed the faithful. For which cause, this council has thought good, that the Symbol of faith which the holy Roman Church makes use of,--as being that principle wherein all who profess the faith of Christ necessarily agree, and that firm and alone foundation against which the gates of hell shall never prevail,--be expressed in the very same words in which it is read in all the churches. Which Symbol is as follows: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages; God of God, light of light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made: who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of [Page 17] the Virgin Mary, and was made man: crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, he suffered and was buried; and he rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures; and he ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father ; and again he will come with glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end: and in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and the giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is adored and glorified; who spoke by the prophets and one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The same sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of
Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same three legates of the
Apostolic See presiding therein, -- understanding that many prelates in
divers places are girt for their journey, and that some also are on their
way hither; and considering that all that may be decreed by the said sacred
Synod may seem to be in so much the greater estimation and honour with all
men, as it shall have been sanctioned and confirmed by a more numerous and
fuller council and attendance of Fathers, has resolved and decreed, that
the next Session after the present be celebrated on the Thursday after
Laetare Sunday next; but that, in the interim, the discussion and
examination of those things which it shall seem fit to the said Synod to
discuss and examine be not deferred.