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Liturgy for Sundays and Main Feasts

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Reflections on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Apostles received, as we have seen, the grace of the Holy Ghost. In accordance with the injunction of their divine Master, they will soon start on their mission of teaching all nations, and baptizing men in the name of the Holy Trinity. It was but right, then, that

the solemnity which is intended to honour the mystery of One God in Three Persons, should immediately follow that of Pentecost, with which it has a mysterious connection. And yet, it was not till after many centuries, that it was inserted in the Cycle of the Liturgical Year, whose completion is the work of successive ages.

Every homage paid to God by the Church’s Liturgy has the Holy Trinity as its object. Time, as well as eternity, belongs to the Trinity. The Trinity is the scope of all Religion. Every day, every hour, belongs to It.

Let us pray

Blessed be the holy Trinity, and undivided Unity: we will praise it, because it hath shown its mercy unto us.

Ps. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy Name in the whole earth.

O almighty and everlasting God, who hast granted Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of an eternal Trinity, and, in the power of majesty, to adore an Unity: we beseech Thee that, by the strength of this faith, we may be defended from all adversity.

Epistle

Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans, Ch. XI.

O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made Him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen.

Gospel

Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to saint Matthew, Ch. XXVIII.

At that time: Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold! I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Reflexion on the Gospel

The mystery of the blessed Trinity, which was taught us by the mission of the Son of God into this world, and by the promise of the speedy sending of the Holy Spirit, is announced to men by these solemn words, uttered by Jesus just before His ascension into heaven. He had said: He that shall believe, and shall be baptized, shall be saved; but He adds, that Baptism is to be given in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Henceforward man must not only confess the unity of God, by abjuring a plurality of gods, but he must, also, adore a Trinity of Persons in Unity of Essence. The great secret of heaven is now a truth which is published through the whole world.

But, whilst humbly confessing the God whom we have been taught to know as He is in Himself, we must, likewise, pay a tribute of eternal gratitude to the ever glorious Trinity. Not only has It vouchsafed to impress Its divine image on our soul, by making her to Its own likeness; but, in the supernatural order, It has taken possession of our being, and raised it to an incalculable pitch of greatness. The Father has adopted us in His Son become Incarnate; the Word illumines our minds with His light; the Holy Ghost has chosen us for His dwelling: and this it is that is expressed by the form of holy Baptism. By those words pronounced over us, together with the pouring out of the water, the whole Trinity took possession of Its creature. We call this sublime marvel to mind as often as we invoke the Three divine Persons, making upon ourselves, at the same time, the sign of the Cross. When our mortal remains are carried into the house of God, there to receive the last blessings and farewell of the Church on earth, the Priest will beseech the Lord “not to enter into judgment with His servant;” and in order to draw down the divine mercy upon this Christian, who has gone to his eternity, he will say to the Sovereign Judge, that this member of the human family “was marked, whilst in this life, with the sign of the Holy Trinity.” Let us respect this divine impress which we bear upon us, it is to be eternal; hell itself will not be able to blot it out. Let it, then, be our hope, our dearest title; and let us live for the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen!