TRINITY SUNDAY & ORDINARY TIME
The Feast of Pentecost concludes the Lent, Holy Week & Easter cycle in the Church year. The Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
Trinity Sunday does not mark an event, something which God has done or is doing, as at Christmas or Easter. Rather, it encourages us to focus on the very nature of God, who and how God is, what God is like. The doctrine of the Trinity has exercised scholars and theologians for centuries, and still confuses and concerns people today: indeed, it is this doctrine which still separates Christians, sadly sometimes painfully to our shame, from Jews and Moslems.The Creed sets out that we believe in one God, who is at the same time Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and while these are three distinct Persons, each divine, there is only one God... This is not the place for a complicated discussion; rather let us focus on one picture which may help us. A famous icon, the Rublev Trinity, depicts three figures sat around three sides of a table; we look into the picture from the fourth, vacant, side.
Each figure looks towards another in a mutually deferring way, giving the sense of a link, between them: this is understood to be a circle of love flowing to and fro between the figures (which represent Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We are invited to enter into, to be caught up into this circle, which is the very life and love of God.
The remaining Sundays of the Church's year – the number of Sundays may vary, anywhere from 24 to 27, depending on when Easter occurs – are known as Sundays after Trinity until the end of October, then Sundays before Advent, concluding with Christ the King in late November.
At the end of October, the Church celebrates Hallowmas (or the 'triduum' of 'All Hallows') commencing on October 31st with All Hallows Eve, then on 1st November with All Saints Day, where the Church remembers all of its Saints and All Souls Day on 2nd November, where the souls of all of the faithfully departed are remembered.
The cycle is also referred to as Ordinary Time, so called to mark the activity of God in the midst of the ordinariness of the church and human experience. In Ordinary Time, Christians celebrate the work of the Spirit given at Pentecost in imparting faith, hope, a sharing of community, and an awareness of a purpose much greater than themselves.