“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the Morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!”
-Reginald Heber (1783 -1826)
You will hear the sound of the organ playing the opening line of the hymn typically on a Sunday morning, or on this occasion, on a Monday – with the pealing of the chapel bell. A few young boys line up in series behind the processional cross, nervously waiting to officially be a part of the sacramental Body of Christ, as the Lord Bishop confirms them as members of the Church. This festive Monday is brimmed with fathomless waters of truth which is naked yet shrouded with our incomprehension.
Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost. The Church calendar stipulate this day for the congregation and clergy to set forth their attention to the Whole entity of GOD – The Triune God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons yet one God.
This doctrine certainly is commonly reckoned to be deep waters that we have so imperceptibly sailed into. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is very often treated very much as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is treated, as if it were a theory generally acknowledged to be true, but so difficult and recondite that its exposition must be left to theological experts. Or, even worse, the Trinitarian doctrine is sometimes treated with faint derision, as if it were a complicated and unnecessary piece of theological pedantry invented by some ecclesiastical back-room boys in order to bewilder the honest man in the pew. This word “Trinity” has a cosmic deep unerring description of the very nature of God the creator, the redeemer and the sanctifier.
Why then would our forefathers name the Kandy Collegiate school as – Trinity College? Clearly, the naming of a school evokes passion and interest and is, in and of itself, an opportunity for education. Naming schools after worthy people keeps their names alive for people who otherwise might never hear of them. For example, we can see a lot of Christian schools are named after a Saint or person who would be a great example for all who pass through the gates of that Institution.
Then, what example does the name Trinity hold for its students? What is the buried example that has got lost in history? It shows that every past or present, young or old, student or teacher has a venerated obligation of representing the very whole entity of God.
Trinity College has been built on the foundation of the Christian faith, to raise outstanding citizens regardless of race or religion that reflects the character of Christ, shining forth a light as a blessing to all. Indeed, its forefathers bearing great risk and a great vision have tirelessly laboured to bring the immeasurable and most coveted blessings of an incomparable experience, to the body mind and spirit of all who passed through the gates of this great school.
The school unveils the significance of the Triune God, the diversity and the community. Each of the three is different from the other yet they are of one being that loves each other. While a college is meant to be a very diverse community, the thought of Trinity brings everyone together without the deprivation of their individual identities while keeping good communion with each other.
Over the years Trinity College has stood with the true nature of the Trinitarian doctrine, a community that upholds diversity and acceptance as one family.
Trinity Monday itself has been espoused to bring together the whole community in celebration representing divergent characteristics of the College, where even important events of the school has taken place with it, such as the opening of the Alison Building by Mrs Fraser.
The whole school community transmogrifies around the chapel (or more zealously remembered as the “heart of the school”) that represents these Godly values.
The Triune God and its Christian identity is shown through the symbolism of the College crest and it should be revered as much as a clergyman reveres his sacred vestments as it represents to put on Christ.
The Three Crowns in the shield, adopted from the Oxford University crest, symbolize the Triune God – The Holy Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit whose name the school bears.
The Cross in the shield signifies the way to the crowns – God.
The Kandyan Lion above the shield represents the people of Sri Lanka.
With great benediction the school and the chapel (Holy Trinity Church) bearing the very name of the Triune God finds it fitting to thank and praise God as we enter the season of Trinity in the Church calendar.
As we return to the early Monday morning where our song rises to the Trinitarian God with splendid threefold proclamation of HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! The Church feast begins.
A Church feast is an important day in the church calendar, with the Bishop as the main celebrant in the Eucharistic Service that is often joined with the Confirmation Service where the congregation gives thanks to God for all who has laboured for the building up of the Church.
The Church feast of The Holy Trinity Church is traditionally celebrated on Trinity Sunday, but with its correlation with the College that bears the name of God, it seems felicitous to have the annual Bishop’s visit to the College linked with the Church feast. There wouldn’t be a day more appropriate to give grateful thanks to God for his servants who obeyed the divine calling for a mission in Sri Lanka on the following Monday – Trinity Monday.
“Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!”