Welcome to Saint Michael’s Anglican Church! Today is Trinity Sunday!
WHAT IS TRINITY SUNDAY?
The first Sunday after Pentecost is the Festival of the Holy Trinity. On this day, the church rejoices in the impenetrable mystery that God is triune (three-in-one) — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. How the Lord can be one God in three distinct persons is completely beyond the ability of any human to understand. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians accept this incomprehensible mystery as a fundamental article of faith.
WHAT IS THE ATHANASIAN CREED?
The Athanasian Creed is the Christian church’s wonderful and profound confession of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This creed takes its name from the influential North African (Egyptian) bishop and theologian, Athanasius (293-373 AD), who was once thought to be its author. Athanasius creed was a response to Arius’ claim that Jesus is not co equal with God the Father. He claims that Jesus was created and cannot be coequal with the Father. This sparked a controversy that a church council had to be called. It was at the council in Constance that the Lord bishop Athanasius presented this creed. Because of its length, it is not recited in church on a regular basis. However, many congregations including Saint Michael’s use it on Trinity Sunday. This creed, along with the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, is one of the three ecumenical creeds that have been universally accepted and confessed by the Christian church since ancient times. It is very interesting that this feast comes after the giving of the Spirit of God (The Pentecost), when God’s indwelling presence came to take abode in human kind, making them temples. No longer would people to go Jerusalem to experience God’s presence. The Spirit of God now lives in them.
WHY IS TRINITY CELEBRATED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST?
How God can be one God in three Persons is a mystery. Although it is clearly taught in the Bible (for example, in Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14), it can never be understood or rationalized — it can only be accepted by faith. Since faith comes only through the Holy Spirit working through the means of grace, it is appropriate that this glorious mystery is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost, the great festival of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
We at Saint Michael’s Anglican Church order our worship life around a liturgical calendar that has its roots in the practice and ritual of the ancient church. We follow a liturgical calendar because it is a guide that helps us remember God’s marvelous plan of salvation accomplished for the world through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While nothing in the Bible commands us to do this, we find that annually retracing the story of our salvation serves to make us well grounded in our faith. It also helps to connect us to the church catholic, the community of believers in Christ of all times, ancient and modern.
As you worship with us today, may the peace of God keep your hearts and mind in the knowledge and the love of God, and of His dear Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Yours for the sake of Christ!
The Reverend Blessing U. Jacobs