Trinity Sunday is the observance that upholds the Christian belief of the triune and eternal natures of God and establishes the Trinity that e=includes the three persons who constitute God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
According to the beliefs of the Western Church that adheres to the Western Christian liturgical calendar, this day is observed on the first Sunday that comes after the Sunday of Pentecost. However, according to the beliefs of Eastern Christianity, this day is observed on the Pentecost Sunday itself.
Trinity Sunday was instituted by the Pope Gregory IX in the year 828 CE. This day was considered especially significant ever since the inception because of the fact that this is one Christian Feast that commemorates the Doctrines of Christianity and not a life event of Jesus Christ or some other related event of the sacred history of Christianity. The day upholds the belief that one God can be found in three elements that are distinctive in the Christian faith: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although the Church had to face the wrath of many contradicting views, by the time of the 14th century the event of Trinity Sunday was a pretty established phenomenon.
Public Life and Observance in the United States:
In the United States, this is not considered to be a federal holiday, as such businesses and organizations operate according to their regular schedule. However, the day being a Sunday, it is a non working day for many Americans. The same is applicable in case of public transportation that runs as per schedule on this day.
On this day, many Christians in the United States commemorate and honor the belief of the eternity of God that encompasses the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In honor of this communion, many churches hold special prayer services on this day. In some Churches it is a custom to recite the Athanasian Creed. The Athanasian Creed, named after the Archbishop of Alexandria, St. Athanasius, conforms strongly to this principle of the triune nature of God that forms the basis of the Trinity. Apart from that, Churches and Choirs also plan some special activities and events that center around Trinity Sunday.
Special Church services focus on the Holy Trinity and special awards are given for such Church Services. Choral vespers concerts and evensong services are also organized. Meals are organized for the parishioners in the Churches, and also some after church services are arranged. The ordinances revolving Trinity Sunday focus typically on the doctrines of Christianity and aim to nurture the same. The difference of this with some other Christian festivals is that this does not focus on the life events of Jesus but uphold the Christian teachings and basic principles.
According to the Western Church:
According to the doctrines of the Western liturgical churches that fall within the category of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Trinity Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday that follows the Pentecost. The following Sundays till the time of the Advent are numbered starting from this day.
Date of Trinity Sunday in the next few years as per the Western Church:
- 2014: 15 June
- 2015: 31 May
- 2016: 22 May
- 2017: 11 June
- 2018: 27 May
- 2019: 16 June
- 2020: 7 June
According to the Catholic Church:
In the Catholic Churches the day is officially termed as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Before the reforms were made by the Second Vatican Council this marked the three week period during which Church Weddings were not allowed. This day was established by Pope John XXII as a Double of the Second Class, and was raised to the honor of a Double of the First Class on the 24th day of July in the year 1911 by Pope Pius X. The event was also immensely popular in the Middle Ages, especially during the Carolingian times.
According to the Anglicanism:
Trinity Sunday in these Churches is one of the Principal Feasts, and during the celebrations the 1979 Book of Common Prayer is often recited, especially the section that deals with Historical Documents.
According to the Eastern Church:
According to the beliefs of the Eastern Churches, the Pentecost Sunday itself is observed as the Trinity Sunday while the Sunday after the Pentecost is observed as the All Saints’ Day.
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