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Feast of The Most Holy Trinity


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity,
has as object the greatest, the most profound
and incomprehensible truth of our holy faith.

The feast was introduced into the Roman Church
by Pope John XXII in 1334.

The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast
is this: There is one God and in this one God
there are three divine Persons;
the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.
Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal,
incomprehensible God!

The Father is not more God than the Son,
neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit.
The Father is the first divine Person;
the Son is the second divine Person,
begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity;
the Holy Spirit is the third divine Person,
proceeding from the Father and the Son.

No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth.
But submit humbly and say:
Lord, I believe, help my weak faith.

This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost,
should make us mindful that actually every Sunday
is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity,
that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated
to the triune God.

Sunday after Sunday we should recall
in a spirit of gratitude
the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us.
The Father created and predestined us;
on the first day of the week
He began the work of creation.
The Son redeemed us;
Sunday is the "Day of the Lord," the day of His resurrection.
The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple;
on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church.
Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.


Prayers to the Blessed Trinity

The making of the sign of the cross,
which professes faith both in the redemption of Christ
and in the Trinity, was practiced from the earliest centuries.
St. Augustine (431) mentioned and described it
many times in his sermons and letters.

In those days Christians made the sign of the cross
(Redemption) with three fingers (Trinity) on their foreheads.
The words "In the name of the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit" were added later.
Almost two hundred years before Augustine,
in the third century, Tertullian had already reported
this touching and beautiful early Christian practice:

In all our undertakings  - when we enter a place or leave it;
before we dress; before we bathe; when we take our meals;
when we light the lamps in the evening;
before we retire at night; when we sit down to read;
before each new task--we trace the sign of the cross
on our foreheads.
Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, by Francis X. Weiser)


"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world
without end. Amen."

Surely no prayer is said more often.
It forms the conclusion to every psalm,
and every Hour of the Divine Office is begun with it.
Truly the "Glory be" is like a chime in the church tower
that is ever ringing.


The Trinity and the Mass

A splendid array of prayers in honor of the Blessed Trinity
has developed to form the Ordinary of the Mass.

One immediately sees how the Mass of the Catechumens
is Trinitarian throughout;
the Kyrie  petition to the Blessed Trinity;
the Gloria  praise to the triune God.

The three messages Epistle, Gospel, Sermon
are linked very closely to the three divine Persons,
while the Credo is a joyous acknowledgment of our faith
in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

The finest prayer to the Blessed Trinity is holy Mass itself,
for it is the supreme expression of praise, thanksgiving,
and petition to the triune God.

In the Gospel we meet the principal Scripture passage
which mentions the three divine Persons.
Christ gives His apostles the command:
"Go . . . baptize in the Name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Our own selves should be the gift
dedicated to the Blessed Trinity at the Offertory.
During the distribution of Holy Communion
the Church says to us:
This Bread from heaven is a love-token from the triune God.
Christ effected your salvation,
the Father preordained your redemption by calling you,
the Holy Spirit is infusing grace after grace
to insure your perseverance.

The soul-stirring Te Deum, a praise and thanksgiving chant
to the triune God, is prayed very frequently
at the end of Matins (Evening Prayer).


Te Deum

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee
to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened
the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast
redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

 V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.