Thoughts for Trinity Sunday

Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday – the day when the preacher is entrusted with the task of explicating one of the most mysterious of Christian doctrines. In the seminary where I trained in Oxfordshire the old tradition was that all the seminarians were sent out to preach in the local parishes each Trinity Sunday to prove that their theology was up to scratch – and, of course, to give the country parsons the morning off.

Now I personally believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is easier to experience than to explain. We experience it whenever we know God in three different ways – as the mystery that transcends and holds all being, as the loving companion who walks with us through all the sorrows and joys of life, and as the spark of love and ache of yearning at the deepest depth of our own self.

But in order to help us experience this reality – or, at least, to help us put words to our experience – we often need poetry more than theology. So here are a selection of poems, prayers and reflections which open up the Trinity to the heart more than to the head.


Two from Janet Morley –

Giver of Life,
Bearer of Pain
Maker of Love.

O God our mystery,
You bring us to life,
Call us to freedom,
And move between us with love.
May we so participate
In the dance of your trinity
That our lives may resonate with you
Now and forever.

One from Meister Eckhart –

‘Do you want to know what goes on in the heart of the Trinity?
I’ll tell you.
At the heart of the Trinity
The Father laughs, and gives birth to the Son.
The Son then laughs back at the Father,
And gives birth to the Spirit.
Then the whole Trinity laughs,
And gives birth to us.’

One from St Augustine –


Two from me –

God known and unknown

Infinite love,
dancing creation,
holding all being in life.

Passionate love,
our dancing partner,
beckoning us into joy.

Intimate love,
heart dancing Spirit,
breathing our fears into hope.

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