The Trinity Season (also commonly called the Pentecost season) is the non-festival half of the church year. The color of the season is green because it is a time of spiritual growth for the Christian, a time when we consider especially the teachings of Christ. The festival half of the church year (Advent through Easter) focuses on the life of Christ and everything He did for us. This is our chance to learn what His life and death means for us.
The Trinity season is actually four “mini-seasons” combined into one. It will help Christians keep focus in this season if they see these four broad themes within this season which is sometimes seen as long and dull.
Trinity I – Pentecost: The Church of the Spirit – Trinity I has six Sundays. These Sundays tell us something of Christ’s Church. In many ways they are a continuation of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth…”
Trinity II – St. John’s Tide: Christian Faith & Love – The 6th-18th Sundays after Trinity tell the growth and fruit of the Christian life. During these weeks we hear the parables of Jesus. This period is sometimes also called “St. John’s Tide,” since it usually follows soon after the festival of St. John the Baptist (June 24). The words of John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease” nicely sum up the theme for this time of the church year.
Trinity III – Michaelmas: The Struggle Against Satan – The 19th-23rd Sundays after Trinity are called Michaelmas. The name comes from the observance of St. Michael and All Angels on Trinity 19 (or September 29). All of the Sundays in this mini-season have the theme of the Church’s struggle against Satan. These Sundays are a good reminder that we are called the Church Militant on earth: Satan seeks to destroy the Church and lure Christians from the flock, but God defends His church. The last Sunday of Trinity III is Reformation Sunday, a fitting end to a season which focuses on our battle against the “old evil foe.”
Trinity IV – End-Time: Christian Hope – The end of the Church Year is when we focus on the end of the world. The last few Sundays remind us that one day this world will come to an end, and Christ will fulfill His promise to return and “judge the living and the dead.” We are to be ready for His return, and prepare ourselves by diligent use of the Means of Grace. We are the Bride, waiting for her Bridegroom, who will take us from the troubles and anxieties of this earth, to our place prepared in heave. The bridegroom comes is very fittingly the last Sunday of the Church Year.