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Trinity Sunday in United Kingdom

Quick Facts

Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost, is a Christian feast that is observed in many churches in the United Kingdom.

Name

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trinity Sunday 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Christians in the United Kingdom celebrate Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is one of the few feasts that are celebrated as a doctrine instead of an event. It is also symbolic of the unity of the Trinity.

Holy Trinity Detail

The trinity comprises the Father, Jesus the son (image pictured above), and Holy Ghost, according to Christian belief.

This illustration is based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Stephan Berglund

What do people do?

Many Christian churches in the United Kingdom observe Trinity Sunday through various activities, including special church services that focus on the theme of the trinity. Such services give the congregation a chance to learn about or revisit the concept of the trinity, which refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being one God. The Nicene Creed is often included in some church services on Trinity Sunday. Many people see this creed as one that professes the Christian faith.

Many churches or Christian organizations that run Sunday schools may also have special lessons that teach children about the trinity. Sunday school activities may include songs, poems, group discussions, and coloring tasks.

Public life

Trinity Sunday is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

Background

Pope Gregory IX instituted Trinity Sunday in 828 CE. This day is known for being the only major Christian festival that celebrates a church doctrine rather than an event in its sacred history. It is dedicated to the Christian belief in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and falls on the Sunday following Pentecost each year. The belief of one God in three elements is a distinctive of the Christian faith but the early church was plagued by contrary views. Trinity Sunday spread throughout the western church around the 14th century CE.

Symbols

In some churches, the liturgical color is white on Trinity Sunday. Images of the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit depict that there are three elements of one God. The Trinity is sometimes symbolized by a triangular shape formed by three overlapping oval rings or loops, each featuring the one of the following images: the crown (father) within the top loop; the lamb (son) within the second loop (clockwise); and the dove (spirit) within the third loop (clockwise). Other shapes depicting the Trinity include Borromean rings and the triquetra.

The Borromean rings feature three overlapping round circles forming a triangular shape, and in the center, inside all the circles is the word "unitas". The Borromean rings are named after the crest of the Borromeo family in 15th-century Tuscany.

The triquetra symbol uses shapes similar to one of the oldest Christian symbols. In the triquetra, the three equal arches of the circle express the equality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The union of the arches represents the unity of the Godhead. Their continuous form symbolizes eternity. Their interwoven appearance denotes the indivisibility of the Trinity. In the center of the triquetra is an equilateral triangle, the most ancient of the Trinity symbols, and each pair of arches formed an ellipse, the symbol of God’s glory.

About Trinity Sunday in other countries

Read more about Trinity Sunday.

Trinity Sunday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunJun 101990Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 261991Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 141992Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 61993Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 291994Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 111995Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 21996Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 251997Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 71998Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 301999Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 182000Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 102001Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 262002Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 152003Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 62004Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 222005Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 112006Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 32007Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 182008Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 72009Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 302010Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 192011Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 32012Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 262013Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 152014Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 312015Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 222016Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 112017Trinity SundayChristian 
SunMay 272018Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 162019Trinity SundayChristian 
SunJun 72020Trinity SundayChristian 

Related holiday

Other holidays in June 2014 in United Kingdom

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