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Trinity Sunday

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Psalms 29, 33 | 93, 97, 150 ,   Revelation iv. 1   &   St. John iii. 1

Admonition and Exhortation for Communion

Extract of "On the Trinty"

Shield of the Trinity, St Oswald's, Sowerby, North Yorkshire

How shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?


Hilary wrote in Book II of De Trinitate (On the Trinity):

Concerning the Holy Spirit I ought not to be silent, and yet I have no need to speak; still, for the sake of those who are in ignorance, I cannot refrain. There is no need to speak, because we are bound to confess him, proceeding, as he does, from Father and Son. For my own part, I think it wrong to discuss the question of His existence. He does exist, inasmuch as he is given, received, retained; he is joined with Father and Son in our confession of the faith, and cannot be excluded from a true confession of Father and Son; take away a part, and the whole faith is marred. If any man demand what meaning we attach to this conclusion, he, as well as we, has read the words of the Apostle, Because ye are sons of God, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father, and Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye have been sealed, and again, But we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are given unto us by God, and also But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God is in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is not his, and further, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies for the sake of his Spirit which dwelleth in you. Wherefore since he is, and is given, and is possessed, and is of God, let his traducers take refuge in silence. When they ask, Through whom is he? To what end does he exist? Of what nature is he? we answer that he it is through whom all things exist, and from whom are all things, and that he is the Spirit of God, God's gift to the faithful. If our answer displease them, their displeasure must also fall upon the Apostles and the Prophets, who spoke of him exactly as we have spoken. And furthermore, Father and Son must incur the same displeasure...

Jesus asked in today's Gospel, "How shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" Hilary and the collect today make a good point; it is by the grace that God has given us, and the visitation of his Holy Ghost, that we are able to hold in faith that which is, as Hilary says, uncomprehensible.

The Quicunque vult has been ascribed to Hilary, and in reading the De Trinitate one cannot but help to see the similarities. This creed was said by tradition on Trinity Sunday, and I encourage you to use it as well today. The Shield of the Trinity, which was created in the Middle Ages, also captures graphically and in words the essence of the creed.

  • "The Father is God"
  • "The Son is God"
  • "The Holy Spirit is God"
  • "God is the Father"
  • "God is the Son"
  • "God is the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Father is not the Son"
  • "The Son is not the Father"
  • "The Father is not the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Holy Spirit is not the Father"
  • "The Son is not the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Holy Spirit is not the Son"

Hilary was born in about 300AD and became the Bishop of Poitiers. You can read more at the links provided in today's homily. 

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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