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Musical Musings: Solemnities

Ideas from The Liturgy of the Hours:

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

The Liturgy of the Hours provides a rich, underused source of creative ideas for music during Mass. We have here the wisdom of the Church, offering new readings to amplify the familiar readings at Mass. We also have valuable new psalm selections and hymns, all a legitimate part of Sacred Liturgy, which can be a fertile new ground for selecting music that the Church relates to the themes of a particular feast. Practically speaking, for the music planner, these texts may lead one to a long-forgotten choral motet, or to a new possibility for an opening or communion processional based on one of the prescribed psalms or canticles.

CanticaNOVA Publications will offer these Ideas from the Liturgy of the Hours periodically, with the hope that musicians may find new sources of traditional music to enhance the Mass within the guidelines proposed by the Church.

+ Brief History of this Feast +

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity is observed by the western Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Every Sunday, and every day, being dedicated to God and therefore in a measure a feast of the Trinity, a special feast did not become general until the 14th century, and it is still unknown in Eastern rites. It was first used in the church of Canterbury under Saint Thomas Becket and spread from thence.
Taken from: A Catholic Dictionary, © Copyright 1941, edited by Donald Attwater.

+ Evening Prayer I +

Latin Hymn Immensa et una, Trinitas


  • Psalm113
    Antiphon Glory to you, O Trinity, one God in three equal Persons, as in the beginning, so now and for ever.
  • Psalm 147:12-20
    Antiphon Praise to the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity. Let us praise God for he has shown us his mercy.
  • Ephesians 1:3-10
    Antiphon Glory and honor to God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; glory and praise to him for endless ages.
Reading Romans 11:33-36

[excerpt] Let us worship the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; let us praise God for ever. To God alone be honor and glory.

Magnificat Antiphon
We give you thanks, O God:
we give you thanks, Trinity one and true,
Divinity one and most high, Unity one and holy.

[response] Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

+ Invitatory Antiphon +

Come, let us worship the true God: One in Trinity, Trinity in One.

+ Office of Readings +

Latin Hymn Te Patrem summum genitumque


  • Psalm 8
    Antiphon Come and stay with us, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Psalm 33 (I)
    Antiphon The Father is Love, the Son is grace, the Holy Spirit is their bond of fellowship; O blessed Trinity.
  • Psalm 33 (II)
    Antiphon The Father utters the Truth, the Son is the Truth he utters, and the Holy Spirit is Truth; O blessed Trinity.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth, he created the hosts of heaven.

First Reading I Corinthians 2:1-6 [The great mystery of God's will]

[excerpt] May the glorious God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ give to us a spirit of wisdom to penetrate his revelation, and bring us to full knowledge of him.
May he enlighten the eyes of our minds to see the great hope of our calling, the wealth of glory he has laid up for the saints.
We have not received the spirit of this world, but the Spirit who comes from God.

Second Reading From the first letter to Serapion by Saint Athanasius, bishop [Light, radiance and grace are in the Trinity and from the Trinity]

[excerpt] Let us adore the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit;
let us praise and exalt God above all for ever.
Blessed be God in the firmament of heaven; all praise, all glory to him for ever.

 Back to Solemnities Index

Part 2: Morning Prayer, etc.

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