Introduction to the Trinity Season
excerpt fromCOMMON PRAYER
Volume 4: Trinity Sunday to the Twelfth Sunday After Trinity
Daily Reading on the Lectionary of the Book of
Common Prayer by W. J. Hankey, D. P. Curry, J.A. Matheson, B.L.
Craig, R. U. Smith, and G. W. ThorneRevised by D. P. Curry, P. W. Harris, and B. M. Large
St. Peter Publications
Inc. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, 1999.Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
The Christian year consists of two parts: from Advent to Trinity
Sunday; and from Trinity to Advent. The first half of the Church
year has set before us the saving life and work of Jesus Christ: at Advent
and Christmas with the celebration of the incarnation (‘taking on flesh’)
of Jesus; at Epiphany with the manifestation of our Lord to the Gentiles;
at Lent with his fasting, temptation, agony, bloody sweat, cross, passion,
death and burial; at Easter with his glorious resurrection; at the Ascension;
at Pentecost with his sending of the Holy Ghost to comfort us. During
all this time the Church has made us remember with thankful hearts those
unspeakable benefits we receive from the Father, first by his Son, and
then by his Holy Spirit. This part of the Christian year concludes
on Trinity Sunday when the Church gives praise and glory to the whole Trinity,
three persons in One God.
We are beginning the second half of the Christian year (Trinity season),
which prompts us to conform our lives to the truth we have seen in the
first half of the year. As Christians we are not only to know that
our salvation is in Jesus Christ, but we ourselves must become like him.
Religion consists of things to be believed and things to be done.
Advent to Trinity has made clear the truth to be believed; but belief is
unreal unless it is made the basis of action. The emphasis in Trinity
season is on the transformation of our life by and through the Love of
God. The Collects in Trinity season are prayers for Divine help and
guidance to enable us to bring forth the fruits of Christianity.
We seek to understand our faith in a way which shows us how we can become
more charitable, compassionate, humble and patient. The Sunday lessons
are concerned with the practical life of God’s Kingdom within us as individuals
and among us as a Christian community. As Charles Wheatley noted
in 1710 about Gospels and Epistles appointed for Trinity season:
From Trinity Sunday to Advent, the Gospels are not chosen as
peculiarly proper to this or that Sunday, (for that could only be observed
in the greater festivals), but such passages are selected out of the conduce
to the making us good Christians: such as are the holy doctrine, deeds,
and miracles of the blessed Jesus, who always went about doing good, and
which the Church always proposes to our imitation.... The Epistles tend
to the same end, being frequent exhortations to an uninterrupted practice
of all Christian virtues.
The Christian life is lived within God himself: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The continuing theme throughout Trinity season is that of the practice
of allowing God to live in us so that we might be able to say with St.
Paul: “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me” (Gal. 2. 20).
Trinitytide is a time when we daily offer our life to God so that he
may transform it by his life and make it more beautiful to God, to others
and to ourselves.