The history of the feast

Orthodox feast «The Feast of the Holy Trinity» The Day of the Holy Trinity is one of the most important holidays, which confirm and praise the triune nature of the Most High: God the Father - the Maker of heaven and earth, God the Son - Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit - the Giver of life, who proceeded from the Father.

The first Christian dogma about the triune nature of God was adopted on The First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea) in the 325. During The Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople) in the 381 the Creed was adopted, in which the basis of Christian religion was set out: about the Trinity of God, about the Holy Spirit, about the Church, about the sacraments, about the rising from the dead and about the eternal life.

The Day of the Holy Trinity is also called the Day of the Coming of Holy Spirit, because it is celebrated on the day of coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles:

"When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance". (Acts 2: 1-4)

Orthodox feast «The Feast of the Holy Trinity» This unusual event happened on the day of the Pentecost, which was celebrated after seven weeks after Judaic Easter since the Moses times by the Old Testament Church and that is why this day was called the Feast of Weeks (Deuter. 16:9-10; Ex. 34:22). Celebration was established in the memory of Sinai legislation - the Ten Commandments, given by God to the great leader of the Old Israel - Moses. The feast of the old testament Pentecost coincides with the feast of the new testament Pentecost - seven weeks after the Easter.

The prophet Isaiah foresaw that from the Zion city will leave the Law and the Word of God - Jerusalem (Is. 2:3) and the prophet Joel predicted:

"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape" (Joel 2: 28,32).

And all happened, as it was predicted. According to the promise of Jesus Christ (John 14: 26) before His Ascension to the Heavens and at God's will the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles. And this event became the bright manifestation of the triune nature of All-mighty God and from this event was started the history of creation of the Holy Oecumenical (cathedral, universal) apostolic Church, and all modern Christian communities on our planet have got its origin from that Church.

The traditions of the feast

Orthodox feast «The Feast of the Holy Trinity» The cycle of Easter holidays ends on the Feast of Holy Trinity. The celebration of the Holy Trinity Day is very similar to the Easter and continues during the whole next week. In the third century this feast became generally recognized. The mass was written in the VIII century by Saint John of Damascus and Saint Cosmas of Maiuma. From the Pentecost mass the well-known prayer to the Holy Spirit "Oh Heavenly King" came to our everyday prayers. This prayer is used in every Orthodox Liturgy.

On the Day of Holy Trinity in the Orthodox Temples the solemn Liturgy is celebrated. According to the tradition in the Ukrainian Churches the clergy put on the green frocks, the floor in the temple is covered with fresh-cut grass, the images are decorated with birch branches. Believers bring different herbs to the temple for consecration, that later they could decorate their homes. In general it is one of the greatest Christian feasts - the Feast of the Holy Trinity, so it is also called the green feast. But this name and this tradition - to decorate the homes with green branches - came to us from the pre-Christian times, when the Ukrainian people were a pagan nation. And with the coming of Christianity all pagan traditions were mixed with Christian holidays.

Ancient forefathers of the modern Ukrainians prayed to trees and especially to the hollow trees, worshiped birches, linden trees, oak trees. They performed their secret ceremonies under the protection of the old woods. Besides that they had sacred trees on the fields, roads and in the villages. The old oak was considered to be the most sacred tree. The most important ceremonies were executed under the oaks and linden trees. When the Christianity was accepted, the green feasts became to be called the Feast of the Holy Trinity. The green feasts are first of all the celebration of win of spring just before summer, when the nature with people celebrates its rebirth. The day before the feast, on Saturday early before the sunrise the girls and women went to the meadow or in the fields to pick the herbs: thyme, wormwood, lovage and Tatar herbs. In the evening of this day the hostesses decorated their homes with green branches of maple, linden tree, ash and aspen, before the door of the buildings, on the gates and also in the enclosure, where the cattle lives, put the branches of aspen.

In the Green Week girls put the "poplar tree" performance. They gathered together, chose the tallest girl, who should act the "poplar tree". The girl raised her hands and connected them above her head; the others put the necklace, ribbons, colored shawls on her hands. She was hardly noticed under all that decoration. In that costume of the "poplar tree" girls brought her around the village, in the fields, where at that time the rye was forming ears. Meeting people, the "poplar tree" bowed low to them and the masters treated girls and gave the presents for the poplar tree.

During the green feasts the dead relatives were visited. In our ancestor's opinion the souls of our relatives - dead great-grandfather's grandfathers settled in the trees. And every year during the Green Week people brought the branches into the house from the Sacred Grove (the graves of the ancestors). They decorated the house, gates and doors with these branches. The popular superstition existed that the Spirit of the Ancestors, which flied over the graves on the branches came to the house of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and blessed them with peace and love.

As we see a lot of traditions of the Green Holidays from the old times have stayed till today and gained the new contents in the Christianity. But such a thought exists that the tradition to decorate the homes and temples with green herbs on the Holy Trinity Feast is connected with the presence of God in the appearance of three travelers to Abraham near the Oak of Mamre, where was the bush of this Patriarch (Gen. 18:1-15). The worship of Abraham to the Holy Trinity in the grove of Mamre made the ancient Christians to decorate the temple with tree branches and flowers on the Holy Trinity Day. This tradition symbolized that grove of Mamre and the bush of Abraham, where the Trinity God appeared to the prophet once.

The Divine essence of the holiday

The Feast of the Holy Trinity, which unites the holidays of old testament and new testament Pentecost, is the holiday of birth of the Christian Church. God the Father founded it in the Old Testament; God the Son created the Church, having incarnated on earth in appearance of Jesus Christ, God the Spirit functions in it till today.

About the Holy Spirit

Saint John Chrysostom in his sermon on the Feast of the Holy Trinity said: "Gentle God today endow us with the great gifts which are difficult to show. That is why we should rejoice and glorify our God with this joy. The Holy Spirit frees us and calls to freedom. This is the source of all the predictions, healings and other good things".

During the vespers on the Feast of the Holy trinity the canticles are read: "The Holy Spirit gives everything. He gives the predictions, improves the priests, and teaches the wisdom, made fisherman theologians, unites the whole church community. Glory to you, coessential the Father and the Son, Glory to you".

"Through the Holy Spirit, - says saint Basil the Great, - the return to paradise, ascension to the Kingdom of Heavens happens, the sonship returns. We may call the God as Father, we may become the participants of the Jesus Christ`s mercy, be named as the children of light, take part in everlasting glorifying. The Holy Spirit gave the knowledge of different languages to apostles, the gift to understand the Bible and the gift to be courageous while preaching and recognizing the Holy Faith".

"On the Feast of the Holy Trinity, - the Second Vatican Council says, - the Holy Spirit comes on the disciples to be with them forever. The Church of the New Testament became the prototype of the unification of all the nations in Universal faith which can speak all the languages?"

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are great and generous. Saint apostle Peter says about it:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Gal. 5, 22-23).

The Holy Spirit has come on us in the saint Sacrament of Anointment with its gifts and anointed us to be the warriors of Christ, and made our body the house of God. Saint apostle Peter remind us about this great truth and warn us, for us to remember:

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies" (Cor. 6, 19-20).

Each soul is nourished by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Church, which saves us and forgives our sins, lives by the Holy Spirit.
The priests pray and administer the sacraments, confessions, communions, baptizing offices, which help us to be close to God. With the power of the Holy Spirit priests got the power of the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of the ordination, when the bishops lay their hands on them, having read the special prayer. In such a way apostles gave the power of coming on them the Holy Spirit to all of their inheritors, and they ordered the bishops to send the power of the Holy Spirit to the priests.
The Holy Spirit gives the power of the prediction.
The Holy Spirit gives the power to work wonders.
The Holy Spirit gives the gift of wisdom.
The Holy Spirit gives the power of healing.
The Holy Spirit taught the apostles, fisherman, to defeat the world and gather the Church of God.

About the hypostases of God

According to church studies, Hypostases of God are the essence of a Person, and do not the manifestation of the impersonal force. Thus Hypostases have the unique nature. And there is a question: how to distinguish them? All the Divine characteristics belong to general nature of God, they are peculiar to all the three Hypostases and that is why it is a difference. It is impossible to give absolute determination of each of the Hypostases, using one of the Divine names.

One of the features of the personal life is expressed in that it is unique and special, and consequently, it has no definition. It is impossible to make a part of a concept, because a concept always summarizes. It is impossible to reduce it to a common denominator. Therefore personality can be perceived only through his or her attitude toward other personalities.

We see it in the Bible, where the imagination about Divine Images is based on relations which exist between them. We believe in the coessential and inseparable Trinity. Coessential means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three independent Divine images, they are perfect, but they are not three special separate essences, they are not three Gods, but One God. They have the unique and inseparable Divine essence. Each Image of the Trinity has the Divine essence, it is perfect and complete.