If in "lay condition" we best express the complexity of the vocation and function of the laity in the Church, ‘lay state’ is the more precise expression used by the 2nd Vatican Council (LG 30. AA 2). It has to be defined in relation to the other ecclesial states: clerical (of the ordained ministers) and religious (LG 30.31). Both the unity and communion of the Church and the apostolic ministry of the Twelve have been, from its origins, constituents of the Church. The mystery of the Church in its unity acts, however, as an icon of God the Trinity, the protological dynamism of creation by the Father, the soteriological dynamism of redemption through Jesus Christ and the eschatological dynamism of sanctification and consummation through the Holy Spirit. We may view each of these ecclesial states – lay, clerical, religious – as marked by a particular charisma in the service of each of these dynamisms. It is in this sense that the ‘secular character’ of lay Christians places them in the ecclesial communion for the service of evangelising the world.