SUNDAY, JUNE 3: A central and unfathomable mystery of the Christian faith takes center stage today, on the feast of Trinity Sunday. White shines from the décor and vestments of most Western churches, as the faithful ponder the one God that is three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For many centuries, Christian leaders have taught that this mysterious truth must be believed by true followers of the faith. (For a look at the Catholic approach to this truth, visit FishEaters.)
Though the Holy Trinity is honored every Sunday, this day was officially introduced in the ninth century to focus on this particular doctrine.
In search of a special prayer? The Athanasian Creed—which used to be recited several Sundays each year—was reduced to one day a year in 1960: Trinity Sunday. Catholics will hear this passage, but many Christian churches across the U.S. that do mark Trinity Sunday, don’t use that text anymore.
For Christians, a joyous Gospel passage proclaims that God’s nature has been revealed: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” (Wikipedia has details.) The sacrament of holy communion still is celebrated in the name of the Holy Trinity. Believers hold that all members of the Blessed Trinity are equal, uncreated and infinite.
It’s said that no mortal can truly grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity, but efforts can be made! Try picking a shamrock today, or a viola tricolor; light a candle with three flames; or decorate a home altar with symbols of the Trinity. (CatholicCulture.org has more ideas. And, if you’d like to learn more about the viola tricolor, visit the American Violet Society’s page for this delightful little blossom.
Trinity Sunday falls the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian Church each year, and on Pentecost Sunday in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.