Father Andy Nyga

From the Parish of St Dominics

Liturgical Season reverts to Ordinary Time

Liturgical Season reverts to Ordinary Time

Following the celebration of Pentecost last Sunday, we revert to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. However for the next two Sundays, we celebrate two special solemnities: Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. Today, on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, as it is officially called, we accept and honour God the Father, God the Son and

the Holy Spirit, Three Persons, One God.

The existence of the Trinity is one of the most fundamental dogmas of the Catholic Church, one we must accept even though we do not understand it. Although many metaphors are used to explain it, it is a mystery beyond the understanding of mortal minds. As such it is a very controversial matter, which Catholics are called upon very often to defend. In fact, it was one of the first major controversies that led the Catholic Church to state its position on the Trinity. In the fourth century, one by the name of Arius in the diocese of Alexandria, questioned the co-existence of God the Father and the Spirit and a great schism developed in the church known as Arianism.

In AD 325, Emperor Constantine, who himself was relatively new to Christianity convened the Council of Bishops in Nicaea to deal with this heresy. It was at this council, that the beginnings of the Nicene Creed, were developed. Later

on more additions were made to this Creed resulting in the version now used at masses today. The Creed is the absolute profession of faith by every Catholic person. It is structured on belief in the Holy Trinity and the importance and role of each of these three persons in One God: the creation of the world by God the Father, the redemption of mankind from sin by the Son and the sanctification and strengthening by The Holy Spirit. Belief in the Trinity is so fundamental that at Baptism which is the entry rite to the church, the person being baptised or god-parent (if it is a child) are asked to respond as to whether they believed in God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Church also uses the Apostles’ Creed, which it is believed, was composed by the Apostles, shorter than the Nicene Creed and also a profession of faith. In the early days of the Church, there were a few isolated observances of the Trinity but no official observance was proclaimed until 1334, when Pope John XX11 established the feast day and prayers in honour and praise of the Trinity, were incorporated in the liturgy and the Divine Office.

We may not be conscious of this but we begin all our prayers, including Holy Mass, by calling on the three persons in one God when we say: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen and conclude most of the time, in the same way by saying: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Why do we use it?