SUNDAY, MAY 30: As the first Sunday after Pentecost, Western Christians recognize today as Trinity Sunday, a time to reflect on the mysterious dogma of the Christian Church. (Find details at Wikipedia.) Eastern Orthodox Christians, on the other hand, recognized Trinity Sunday last Sunday, on Pentecost—and reserve today as All Saints’ Day. Both Churches agree that the doctrine of the Trinity was revealed to the world after the first Pentecost, and so they both also agree that the Trinity should be honored near Pentecost—but their days of tribute differ. Therefore, today Eastern Christians will be honoring all saints, both known and unknown, while Western Christians revere the Holy Trinity.
According to Christian tradition, God and the Holy Trinity are one: The Holy Trinity is composed of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Christian Church holds that not one member is less or more important than another, and that all are one God. (Get one Catholic perspective at FishEaters. Or, another perspective from CatholicCulture.org.)
This year, Trinity Sunday takes on a new meaning in the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches because of landmark meetings at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI. Here’s a Catholic News Service report from Monday on a special concert that ended these two days of East-West talks. These two Christian churches seem to be moving toward a future meeting between Benedict and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I, but tensions remain in regions like the Ukraine. Despite cordial expressions at the Vatican, church officials say they’re still not ready for more a formal meeting between heads of the Rome and Moscow churches, according to Catholic News Service.
(By ReadTheSpirit columnist Stephanie Fenton)
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