We worship as Christians a God who is Three in One, and One in Three, what we call the Trinity. In a sense on Trinity Sunday we celebrate the fulfilling of the functions of the Three Persons within the Godhead: Father as Creator, Son as Redeemer and the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier. Yet, each never functions alone; each Person shares in creation, redemption and sanctification.
When we become a Christian we are baptized in the name of the blessed Trinity. Furthermore we know that the main tenet of the Christian Faith as expressed in the Creed of St. Athanasius is to "worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity." This Three in One and One in Three sometimes poses problems for us, but then it is meant to because it is one of the great mysteries of our faith, and we are not meant to be able to understand everything. If we did we would then be as God, and that is not why we were created. The Orthodox hymns to the Trinity unfolds this mystery in the context of our worshipping God.
Let us sing praises to the Trinity,
glorifying the eternal Father,
the Son and the Spirit of righteousness,
one single Essence that we magnify in threefold song: Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O Trinity.
I sing the praises of the three Persons in one Godhead;
I proclaim one simple Nature undivided:
Father eternal, Son and Holy Spirit,
one in throne and lordship, one single Kingdom,
one everlasting Power.
O simple and undivided Trinity, one consubstantial nature:
You are praised as light and lights, one holy and three holies.
Sing, O my soul, and glorify
Life and lives, the God of all.
Yet we do have insight into this great mystery through not only the set readings for Trinity but in that wonderful mystical gospel of St. John where Our Lord in His long discourse stated clearly the relationship within the Godhead. He promises that the Spirit of Truth will reveal everything to those who believe. "I am in the Father and the Father in me"; "I am not myself the source of the words I speak to you: it is the Father who dwells in me doing His own work; "when the advocate has come, whom I shall send you from the Father - the Spirit of truth that issues from the Father - He will bear witness to me." (Jn.14:10-11,15:26)
On this Trinity Sunday like St. Julian, let the Trinity fill "me full of heartfelt joy", and like her be assured "that all eternity was like this for those who attain heaven." According to her vision, Julian continued:
For the Trinity is God; the Trinity is our maker; the Trinity is our keeper; the Trinity is our everlasting lover; the Trinity is our endless joy and our bliss,by our Lord Jeus Christ, and in our Lord Jesus Christ. ... For when Jesus apppears, the blessed Trinity is understood as unto my sight.
This Trinity is the subject of our continual praise and thanksgiving, not of our trying to fathom its mystery. When we think on the Trinity all of Its wonderful gifts simply overwhelm us; the sheer grandeur of it is too much for the human mind to comphrend as through the Trinity every conceivable gift and blessing has been bestowed on us. We are indeed "lost in wonder, love and praise",conveyed in this poem Trinity Sunday, written in the style of George Herbert:
Grace, Wit and Art, assist me; for I see
The subjects of this day's solemnity
So far excels in worth,
That sooner may
I drain the sea,
Or drive the day
With light away,
Than fully set it forth,
Except join all three to take my part,
And chiefly Grace fill both my head and heart.
Stay, busy soul, presume not to enquire
Too much of what Angels can but admire,
And never comprehend:
All reason doth transcend.
God the Father, Son God, and God Holy Ghost,
Who most admireth, magnfieth most.
And who most magnifies best understands,
And best expresses what the heads, and hands,
And hearts, of all men living,
When most they try
And raise on high,
Fall short, and lie,
Grovelling below: Man's giving
Is but restoring by retail, with loss,
What from His God he first received in gross.
Faith must perform the office of invention,
And Elocution, struck with apprehension
Of wonder silence keep.
Not tongues, but eyes
Lift to the skies
In reverend wise,
This day: whereof the deep
Mysterious subject lies out of the reach
Of wit to learn, much more of Art to teach.
Then write non Ultra; Look not for leave
To speak of what thou never canst conceive
Worthily, as thou shouldest:
And it shall be
Enough for thee,
If none but he
Himself doth see,
Though thou canst not, thou wouldst
Make his praise glorious, who is alone
Thrice blessed one in three, and three in one.
We have so much for which to be eternally grateful to the blessed and undivided Trinity. Let us see the whole world in which we live and of which we are part as witnessing for the Three in One and the One in Three. The glorious Godhead does indeed shines forth from His world.
O blessed and holy Trinity I praise You for You are ever present in Your world, and I especially praise You for my creation, redemption and sanctification. May I always glorify You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen.