Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trinity Sunday

I've always thought it fitting that the Sunday after we have celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit, we then celebrate the Trinity. It especially seems helpful to set aside time in families to discuss this important doctrine of the Church and to answer questions about the mystery of three in one. And finally, it serves as a correction for the times when churches or individuals may focus only on one or two of the persons of God.

Trinity Sunday is one of the Principal Feasts in the Anglican church, beginning in the Anglican church when Thomas Becket was named Archbishop of Canterbury and quickly spread throughout all of Christendom.

Activites with children:

  • Discuss the metaphors (though imperfect) that can help us understand the Trinity: An Egg, a shamrock, pansy, a triangle.
  • Share the role of each person of God in your own life and places in Scripture all three persons are mentioned together. (John 16:12-15).
  • Read the Athanasius Creed, written in the 6th century. Discuss how it explains and defends the Trinity.
  • Learn and Color Ancient Symbols for the Trinity: Icon Coloring Book, The Shield of the Trinity, Christian Symbols
  • Discuss and practice the ancient practice of the sign of the cross. Perhaps focus on this practice as a family at meal times this week. Tertullian writes in the third century:
In all our undertakings — when we enter a place or leave it; before we dress; before we bathe; when we take our meals; when we light the lamps in the evening; before we retire at night; when we sit down to read; before each new task — we trace the sign of the cross on our foreheads.
  • Sing Hymns and Songs that focus on all three persons of God. The children love when we end by singing the Doxology, a practice which became part of the Western Church in the 5th century:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, you heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen

Food for your Celebration of the Feast:

Try Greek Trinity Bread or rolls (you could even buy pre-made dough!) shaped into three-leaf clovers (H/T catholic cuisine)

How will you and yours celebrate Trinity Sunday? Any ideas that have worked for teaching young children about the Trinity?

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