To the Most High Trinity


The Holy Trinity by Ann Chapin

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.[Catechism of the Catholic Church]

Trinity Sunday, today, marks the end of the liturgical commemoration of our Lord’s life and God’s saving work, which began last Advent. In these six months we’ve commemorated the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Baptism, the Epiphany, the Presentation, the Transfiguration, the Passion, the Death and Resurrection, the Ascension, not to mention the Descent of the Holy Spirit. Phew.

This then would surely call for an anthem today by Sir James MacMillan* (born 1959), To the Most High Trinity.

Summæ Trinitati, simplici Deo, una Divinitas, æqualis gloria, coæterna maiestas, Patri, Prolique, Sanctoque Flamini.

R: Qui totum subdit Suis orbem legibus.

Præstet nobis gratiam Deitas beata Patris ac Nati, pariterque Spiritus Almi.

R: Qui totum subdit Suis orbem legibus.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.

R: Qui totum subdit Suis orbem legibus.

To the most high Trinity, God pure in essence, one Divinity, of equal glory, of coeternal majesty, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

R: Who subjects the whole world to His laws. 

May the blessed divinity of the Father, Son and equally also of the life-giving Spirit grant us grace.

R: Who subjects the whole world to His laws.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

R: Who subjects the whole world to His laws.

*Notes on this piece say:

This short work demonstrates MacMillan’s versatility as a composer. This has ‘coronation service’ wow factor with brass, timpani and organ making a hugely impressive entrance fanfare/motet for the new Archbishop as he entered the west door of Westminster Cathedral and processed down the centre of the nave to the high altar. It is pure musical theatre and would be a good starting work in a concert which included MacMillan’s Gloria.

The notes are not difficult for a choir to master. The work is in three sections. Fanfares and choral outbursts followed by chant in the habitual MacMillan manner interspersed with free chant in four-part harmony before a return to the opening fanfare material and a wonderfully ‘driven into the buffers at full tilt’ ending.


About GC

Poor sinner.
This entry was posted in Catholic Music, Catholic Prayers, Devotion, Latin, Spiritual Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to To the Most High Trinity

  1. GC says:

    Any one of Bach’s Gloria Patri would do also, like this one:

    (Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s eyes and expressions are possibly even more impressive.)

    This really does give me a strong impression of all the angelic hosts ceaselessly praising the Most Holy Trinity, God Most High.


  2. GC says:

    Some of us might prefer a more contemplative rendering of the above Summae Trinitati.


  3. ginnyfree says:

    The only response to this particular celebration on this particular Sunday I can possibly be make is simply to thank God for the Gift of Faith. It is not possible for any man to stumble upon the Doctrine of the Trinity. It must be revealed to man by his Creator. And so, I thank Him for doing so. We’d still be living in the dark if it weren’t for the coming of the Son, who accomplishing His Father’s will among us, took His seat on high and sent the Paraclete to complete this work in all the generations to follow since those great and magnificent days when He walked among us a Man among men. O Holy Trinity, I praise you in your Simplicity and in your Eternity, in your Beauty and in your Purity. Thank You my God, for showing yourself in me and in my life and in my days. I will find my rest in Thee this day as You will.

    God bless. Ginnyfree.


  4. ginnyfree says:

    P.S. Thank you GC for the beautiful musical selections. They both are stellar.


  5. GC says:

    Dear Ginny, and thank you for your prayer to the Holy Trinity. Lovely.

    I’m one all for the great mystery of God, which many popes and prelates of the latter half of the second decade of the 21st century don’t seem interested in at all – almost allergic to. They seem to prefer a simple McDonald’s, KFC or Pizza Hut version of God, which is all really quite obvious. These are all there in Buenos Aires, Chicago, Westminster and DC.

    There is a scholarly Chinese Carmelite friar in Singapore not far from me here, who used to work on how the muslims actually fitted into the grand scheme of things. (There are 18 million muslims just on the other side of my front door, by the way.)

    It’s a very rough summary I’m giving, but he seemed to be suggesting that muslims are here to remind us Christians of God’s greatness and otherness. As we’ve seen in the last three years or so in Rome, Westminster, DC, Buenos Aires, Chicago and Fr Rosica’s stuff, we are being instructed about God simply being more like a big huggy teddy bear or cartoon chipmunk or something of that sort. A kind of Pope or Bishop Ronald McDonald is to be the order of the day.

    I think we need more of a greater balance in all this, such as that given to us by Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI (God grant him good health and send him His grace). It’s all getting a bit silly.


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