Trinity and Ordinary Time

Trinity Sunday

The Sunday after Pentecost is celebrated as the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. This timing is deliberate coming as it does after the commemorations of the life, passion and resurrection of Christ at Easter and of the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Although the term “Trinity” does not appear in scripture, many bible passages make clear the mutual relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Mass prayers set down for the feast strongly affirm Christian belief in the mystery of the Holy Trinity and emphasise that it is God who is three-in-one whom we adore.

The Collect (Opening Prayer) for example: God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty.

and the Preface: For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit you are one God, one Lord: not in the unity of a single person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what you have revealed to us of your glory we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit, so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead, you might be adored in what is proper to each Person, their unity in substance, and their equality in majesty.

There’s Nothing Ordinary about Ordinary Time

After the feast of Pentecost last Sunday, the Church’s liturgical calendar changed from the Season of Easter to Ordinary Time. That might not be so obvious this Sunday and next because the liturgical colour for Ordinary Time – green – is not being used.  The Easter colour of white is continued for the solemnities of Holy Trinity and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ which are celebrated on the Sundays following Pentecost.

The name “Ordinary Time” for that part of the Church year outside the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter is rather an unfortunate term. The word “ordinary” usually means something that is unexceptional or uninteresting.  However, the word “ordinary” as used in “Ordinary Time” means that the Sundays after the seasons of Christmas and Easter are counted in order, using ordinal numbers.

There is no such thing as “ordinary time” in Christian worship. Gathering as the body of Christ to offer praise and worship to God is always something extra-ordinary!

The green of Ordinary Time points to our Christian hope and life as we celebrate the presence of God in the normal, day-to-day patterns of human life.

During this time of the Church’s year, we devote ourselves to exploring Christian discipleship in all its aspects and entering into the mystery of Christ in its fullness.


Elizabeth Harrington