Published in the June 12, 2022 bulletin.
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes,
“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself” (no. 234); and,
“From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church's living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’” (249).
This feast of the Most Holy Trinity is always the first Sunday after Pentecost, although it did not always fall there. Pope Alexander II (1073) rightly said that every day of the year is devoted to the Trinity. Throughout the years, local bishops designated celebrations in honor of the Trinity to combat Arianism. Common dates were the first Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before Advent. Pope John XXII extended the feast to the universal Church in 1334 placing it in its current location in the calendar. Up until 1969, Pentecost was celebrated as an octave, similar to the other great feasts of the Church: Christmas and Easter. Trinity Sunday is rightly viewed as the octave day of Pentecost as the Church has just finished celebrating the great mysteries of Easter and Pentecost: the Father raising his Son and the sending of the Spirit.
The most well-known Trinitarian hymn is the Te Deum laudamus (“God, We Praise You”). It is prayed each Sunday and feast day during the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours. The beloved hymn “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” is a paraphrase of the Te Deum.