Trinity Sunday, according to the tradition of the Latin Church, used to be the main day for Ordinations in the West: prepared for by the Pentecost Ember Week. Or, to be pedantic, ordinations happened at the Mass of the Ember Saturday, when the various orders were conferred after each of the lections.
Before both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion fiddled with their respective rites, the same words appeared in both the Roman Pontifical and the Prayer Book Ordinal as the Bishop laid hands upon the ordinandi: the Lord's own paschal and pentecostal words Accipe Spiritum Sanctum to his disciples, pointing to the Gift of the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Fittingly; because the priesthood we are given to share is at the heart of the Paschal Mystery. And the First Reading at Mattins, in both ecclesial bodies, used to be that unforgettable passage from Isaiah (6) about the Divine Glory: Et audivi vocem Domini dicentis: Quem mittam? Et dixi: Ecce ego. Mitte me. "And I said: here am I; send me". Gratias tibi, Deus, gratias tibi, vera et una Trinitas, una et summa Deitas, sancta et una Unitas.
Sacrosanctum Concilium (23) decreed that "innovations, should not happen unless a true and certain usefulness for the Church demands it". I still wonder why the Liturgia Horarum rejected that chapter from Isaiah about the Glory of God in the Temple of God ... what true and certain usefulness it was that (so the Experts decided) demanded its elimination. Strangely, the Church of England revisers have remained unaware of the doubtless profound reasons which required this change. However, in more recent years, the C of E has moved the Ordinations to a newly invented "Petertide", so as to allow a full final academic term in the Summer. A shame.
Because what a wonderful feast, how full of joy, today's solemnity is. I find it difficult to to feel sympatheia with PF when he grudgingly utters sour words about "the rigidity of abstract doctrine", as if dogma, which by definition must imply an abstractio from particularity and materiality, lacks the ability to thrill and to enchant and to be entered into and to be lived and to be shared with others. Poor chap ... what an impoverished life he must lead. Perhaps that's why he always looks so miserable.
A particular pleasure is that of praying in the Divine Office that great paean of praise, the Quicumque vult. Our Patron Blessed John Henry Newman had described it as "The most simple and sublime, the most devotional formulary, to which Christianity has given birth". I wonder what he would have said could he have known that, in a century, the Catholic Church would have eliminated it from her worship!
Its loss among both priests and people in the Catholic Church is probably a big reason for the doctrinal collapses in the Latin Church. The poor robbed clergy are no longer shaped by its pin-point orthodoxy as well as its beautiful cadences. A shame, too, that in the OF the profoundly beautiful Preface of the Most Holy Trinity is no longer heard Sunday by Sunday during the 'green' season. It is no wonder that, deep down and instinctively, so few people now really believe in the Holy Trinity. You hear both homilists and laity talking about "God and Jesus". I sometimes feel that only Byzantine Christians really believe in the Trinity. But, to give credit where credit is due, I've read several things by Vincent Nichols teaching the Godhead of the Son with great clarity.
On June 9 1968, which is when Trinity Sunday fell that year, Harry Carpenter laid his hands on me, on exactly the same spot as a previous Bishop of Oxford did the same thing on a Trinity Sunday to Blessed John Henry Newman ... just a few yards from the bones of Oxford's Saxon Patron S Frideswide and those of Dr Pusey and the tomb of the last Abbot of Oseney, first Bishop of Oxford and the only one to have been in full communion with the See of S Peter.
My warmest good wishes to all brother priests who were ordained on a Trinity Sunday.