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Trinity Head Start Development Center
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About the Provider
The dedicated and experienced GETCAP Head Start team ensures that the child development program is embedded in a strong family and community context.
Initial License Date: 3/17/1992.
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Toddler, Pre-Kindergarten, School
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Mar 17, 1992
Stepping Stones Academy – Rosenberg TX Licensed Center – Child Care Program
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Trinity: what is encrypted on the famous icon of Rublev
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Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Third Hypostasis, the Third Person, the Third Essence of the One and Indivisible God. So, when the Holy Spirit descended to earth, the Trinity was revealed to the world – all the Three Hypostases of God, hence the name. The main icon of the holiday, which is brought to the center of the temple on the Day of the Holy Trinity, is the famous “Old Testament Trinity” by Andrei Rublev. Since in 2020, due to quarantine, not everyone will be able to get into the temple, it’s time to figure out what is encrypted in this masterpiece, familiar to all of us from childhood.
Let’s start with the plot of the icon. For the first time, the fact that God exists in three Persons was revealed to people back in the Old Testament times, when the Lord appeared to Abraham and his wife Sarah “at the oak forest of Mamre.” “Abraham and Sarah were old and advanced in years,” says the first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis. The Bible further tells how this phenomenon happened: Abraham “lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, three men stood against him. ” So, “three men”, the Lord appeared to Abraham. Abraham met these “three men”, prepared a dinner for them, and then They asked Abraham: “Where is Sarah, your wife?”, He answered: “Here, in the tent.” “And one of them said (the phrase “one of them” in the text of the Bible is highlighted, emphasizing that the Lord appeared in three persons):” I will again be with you at the same time, next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. … Is there anything difficult for the Lord?” “And indeed, Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac, at the appointed time, from whom, as God promised Abraham, a great nation descended, and then it was in the offspring of Isaac that Jesus Christ was born.
The “Old Testament Trinity” depicts the appearance of the Holy Trinity to Abraham and Sarah at the oak of Mamre. And we see the oak itself behind the back of the central Angel.
Rublyov’s “Trinity” is called theology in colors. Because the finished pictorial form of the ingenious icon tells us in the language of the artistic image about the inseparability and inseparability of the Three Hypostases of the Holy Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – about their consubstantiality. On the feast of the Trinity, believers remember that in this world the fullness of all the Three Hypostases of the Creator has appeared to us. And the main icon of the holiday in some incredible way opens for us, often theologically unenlightened people, the most difficult postulate – about the inseparability and at the same time non-merging of all the Three Persons of God.
But how does Andrei Rublev achieve this? Here is what academician Boris Raushenbakh, the creator of space satellite orientation systems and, at the same time, the author of the work “The Coming of the Holy Trinity”, a researcher of the ancient Russian icon, writes about this. “In the time before Rublev, all the icons of the Trinity were painted according to the type known as the “Hospitality of Abraham.” Not only the Trinity, but also Abraham and Sarah were depicted here, treating dear guests, sometimes the slaughter of a calf by a youngster. The Trinity in the form of three Angels existed even before Rublev, but the absence of Abraham and Sarah in them is explained quite simply: there was not enough space for their image . .. As soon as the size of the sacred image increased, Abraham and Sarah necessarily appeared in the field of view.
And further, Academician Raushenbakh draws an extremely important conclusion: “The appearance of Rublev’s Trinity in the 15th century was not the result of a gradual development, it was a leap, something explosive. With amazing courage, the artist completely excludes scenes of hospitality, cleans everything longer. of fellowship, but the Eucharist, which unites not into fellowship, but into the Church. Rublev succeeds in making it so that the one contemplating the icon sees the complete trinity dogma. In the pre-Rublev time, the icons, relatively speaking, had to have a commentator who would explain and supplement what was depicted, since their content from the point of view of the embodiment of the dogma was always incomplete. Here, for the first time, such a commentator turned out to be redundant.”
Let us remember Rauschenbach’s phrase that the appearance of Rublev’s “Trinity” was not the result of a gradual development, that it was a leap (an act of insight?), and we will draw the first conclusion. Rublev has nothing superfluous, everything works for him to elevate the icon from the image of a specific situation – the appearance of the Three Angels to Abraham and Sarah at the oak forest in Mamra to the artistic penetration into the Mystery. The mystery of the eternity of God. The mystery of the Trinity of God. The three sit at a table and have a silent conversation. Unity binds Them: They are three, but at the same time They are one. It is incomprehensible, but, at the same time, absolutely, true, unconditional.
Now let’s try to examine the icon. Let’s start with the most obvious observation: the three depicted Angels are exactly the same type. There are no visible differences between them – so we get the feeling that theologians have formulated as “the consubstantiality of the three Hypostases, the three Persons of God”, their inconsistency and inseparability.
And now let’s turn to the composition. She is extremely interesting. Look, the composition of the icon is built on the principle of a circle, and the thought of a person peering into the Trinity also moves in a circle, or rather, we seem to be unable to go beyond it. This circle unites the three Angels into the indivisible, into the Trinity.
“On a light (originally gold) background, three Angels are depicted sitting around a table on which a bowl stands. The middle Angel rises above the others, a tree is depicted behind him, behind the right Angel – a mountain, behind the left – chambers. The heads of the Angels are bowed in silent conversation. Their faces are similar – as if the same face is depicted in three versions. you can draw along the halos, along the outlines of the wings, along the movement of the angelic hands, and all these circles converge to the epicenter of the icon, where a bowl is depicted, and in the bowl is the head of a calf, a sign of sacrifice.0003
Before us is not just a meal, but a Eucharistic meal in which the atoning sacrifice is performed. The middle Angel blesses the cup, the one sitting at his right hand receives it, the Angel, located on the left hand of the middle one, seems to be moving this cup to the one opposite him. The main meaning of the image is transparent – in the bowels of the Holy Trinity there is a council on the redemption of mankind, “says art historian Irina Yazykova.
And here is what we read from the theologian Professor Leonid Uspensky: “If the tilt of the heads and figures of two Angels, directed towards the third, unites them together, then their hand gestures are directed towards the Eucharistic chalice with the head of a sacrificial animal standing on a white table, as if on a throne … it constricts the movements of the hands “. The sacrificial bowl – the semantic and compositional center of the icon – is one for all three Angels.
And here – be careful! – an amazing thing. Usually, on an icon, one of the figures necessarily looks at the one who is praying: for example, if the Divine Infant looks at the Mother of God, then Mary herself will look not at Her Son, but at us, the faithful, answering our prayerful gaze directed at Her. This is the principle of icon painting: the icon draws the worshiper into its space. Rublev violates this law. Why? For what?
All the Angels of Rublyov’s “Trinity” are turned to each other for a reason. Closedness of the circle of communication, when the Angels lean towards each other and towards the cup, when even their gazes form a circle… So the person standing in front of the icon is drawn into the icon, and his gaze involuntarily focuses on the cup – the cup of sacrifice. She is the center. She is the main thing. And to us, looking at the icon, another mystery of God is revealed – the mystery of the infinite Divine Love for us. After all, it is out of love for us, people, that God sends His Only Begotten Son into our world – a sacrifice that redeems humanity, a sacrifice that redeems humanity from the captivity of sin. Of course, in order to see such depths in the image of Rublev’s “Trinity”, you need at least a minimal knowledge of the figurative system of icon painting. But the next discovery can be made by anyone who is attentive to their feelings. Because everyone who at least once fixed his gaze on the “Trinity” involuntarily noted a feeling of peace, a feeling of touching eternity, the transcendent nature of the image. This is also no coincidence. This is an illustration of the fact that the three Persons of the Trinity always exist, an illustration of the thesis of eternity.
“But “always” is a category of time, and it is extremely difficult to convey time with the means available to the fine arts. Only indirect methods are possible here, writes Boris Raushenbakh. Rublev very subtly and successfully uses this opportunity. Turning to all the means available to him (composition, line, color), he creates a feeling of silence, peace and a stop of time. This is also facilitated by the fact that the Angels are conducting a silent conversation. After all, ordinary conversation requires utterance words, it takes time, and if Rublev depicted such a conversation, time would enter into an icon. In a silent conversation, images and emotions are exchanged, not words. After all, emotions can arise instantly and last as long as you like.0003
No wonder such concepts as “love at first sight” or “eternal love” appeared. Similarly, images: a person is able to immediately imagine a beautiful landscape. If you try to convey love or a landscape in words, then time will be necessary for this, and it is impossible to adequately convey such subtle feelings as love in words. The image and emotions will always be richer and brighter than words in this sense. As a result of the totality of the means used by Rublev, it seems that the three Angels have been sitting and talking for an infinitely long time and will continue to sit here just as long. They are outside the bustling and hurrying world of people – they are in eternity. But in eternity, time does not flow, it is entirely in it. What is in eternity really becomes perpetual, always existing,” the academician sums up.
Of course, it is not enough just to look at an icon – with the eyes of an idle lover of painting, with the eyes of an art critic. Only prayerful anticipation can bring us closer to this great mystery, which once, by God’s grace, was revealed to the holy icon painter Andrei Rublev.
ReligionOrthodox calendar with Maria Gorodova
traditions and superstitions of the Holy Trinity Day
“I always ask church staff if parishioners write the names of suicides in a note”
The true meaning of the Day of the Holy Trinity is greatly distorted in the mass understanding, as well as other Orthodox holidays. Over the years, many superstitions and traditions have appeared that not only have nothing to do with the Church Charter, but also defame the Orthodox faith. Priest Alexander Yermolin , head of the Missionary Department of the Kazan Diocese, told Tatar-inform how to properly celebrate the Day of the Holy Trinity.
“The understanding of the Day of the Holy Trinity is greatly distorted in the mass understanding. If we ask the average person what holidays he knows in Orthodoxy, he will name Christmas, Easter and Trinity. That is, this holiday is quite popular,” says father Alexander.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity is 50 days away from Easter and is therefore also called Pentecost. It always falls on a Sunday.
“The Trinity parental Saturday precedes this day. Prayer is the only thing the dead really need. Moreover, prayer is the most important and most important thing that cannot be replaced by absolutely nothing. Neither our tears, nor our words, nor regrets, and even a mournful look – none of all this can replace prayer for the departed. We pray for our deceased relatives and ask the Lord to forgive them their sins, voluntary and involuntary, and accept them into the Kingdom of Heaven,” explains the priest.
There are also many superstitions associated with this day. For example, that pregnant women should not go to the cemetery. Of course, this is not justified in any way, the priest believes. Some peoples have preserved the tradition of sitting on special mounds near the graves.
“Some sources say that these days the pagans also had some parental days. I doubt it very much, because the Trinity is celebrated every year on different days,” he said.
Many, as it turns out, are convinced that suicides are commemorated on this day. This categorically cannot be done, the clergyman warns.
“I always ask church staff to ask if parishioners write names of suicides on a note. You need to understand that we do not commemorate suicides at all. Because they themselves have already decided their existence, they have committed a sin that they cannot repent of, because death occurred at the moment of its commission. There is a rite of consolation for relatives, but this is not a funeral service. The Church gives all this to the judgment of God. We pray that the Lord will accept the person, but in this situation we do not pray, because the person himself decided so. The Lord, in his mercy, can forgive and have mercy, but there is a church rule. Just as the funeral service is not a pass to the Kingdom of Heaven, so the Church does not pray for suicides,” says the rector.
Father Alexander believes that such a delusion appeared because of the prayers that are read in the Trinity Parents’ Room. They commemorate the dead under various circumstances: “beat with a stone, drown in the sea.” Somehow, people very delicately attributed suicides to it.
“Green is a symbol of the life-giving grace of the Holy Spirit, it is a symbol of life”
Photo courtesy of Alexander Ermolin
“Trinity is not a holiday of birches, it is the birthday of the Church”
“There is a very beautiful service – Vespers on the Day of the Holy Trinity. We are going to the liturgy, and according to tradition, Vespers is served immediately after it. There are such long services with the reading of kneeling prayers, for the first time we kneel, because there were no earthly bows for all 50 days – it was the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. And such a divine service is held once a year,” Father Alexander said.
The holiday itself is dedicated to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Mystery – because our human mind cannot comprehend this, says the priest.
“The existence of the Holy Trinity is something that so fundamentally transcends our consciousness that we can only accept it out of love,” said the clergyman.
It so happened that a lot of completely non-Orthodox things turned out to be connected with the Day of the Holy Trinity, the rector complains.
“What is very important, the Trinity is not a holiday of birches, it is the birthday of the Church. Our Church has an unequivocal clear date of birth – on the Trinity, the 33rd year from the Nativity of Christ, the Lord sends the Holy Spirit, and thus the Christian Church is founded. The apostles receive the gift of speaking in different languages and set out to preach the gospel. That is, the Lord has done everything for us, we do not need anything else, the full cycle is completed. All we have to do is live a Christian life, go to church, go to confession, take communion and do our Christian deeds,” says Father Alexander.
It is believed that we are richer than all the righteous of the Old Testament, because we have the Church. They lived according to the rules of the Old Testament, which was many times more difficult, he noted.
“Very often we judge the Day of the Holy Trinity by some external things. Here is the greenery. By the way, this question is very difficult. We usually get very simple answers to the most difficult questions. We say that the temple is decorated with greenery, mind you – not with birch trees, greenery. In southern countries, for example, what kind of birches can there be? Greenery is a symbol of the life-giving grace of the Holy Spirit, it is a symbol of life. And the Lord sends the grace of the Holy Spirit so that everything blooms and, first of all, we ourselves bloom, spiritually blossom,” says Father Alexander.
There are many superstitions about Trinity weed. They just don’t do anything with it: they brew it, store it in order to put it in a coffin for the dead. But it’s still not so sad, the saddest thing is when the really pagan things start: wreaths, mermaids, jumping over fires. Here is just a small list of what people sincerely believe in:
- if a guy kisses a girl under a birch tree, the girl will be his wife;
- that day they listened to the cuckoo: how many times it cuckoos, how many days the girl has yet to spend in her father’s house;
- if you wash yourself with morning dew, you will keep freshness and beauty for a long time.
Trinity icon by Russian artist Andrey Rublev
“Faith in the Holy Trinity – the fundamental difference between Orthodoxy and other religions”
In Orthodoxy, there is a day after the holiday when they remember those saints who took part in it, the so-called heroes of the occasion. For example, after the Baptism of the Lord, we celebrate the Day of John the Baptist – this is the saint who baptized Christ. After Christmas – the Cathedral of the Mother of God. Also on Trinity we celebrate the Day of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on Monday.
“It’s worth going back a few days to talk about this holiday. Ascension Day is 40 days after Easter, it will also always be on Thursday. On this day, we remember the events when the Lord resurrected and ascended into heaven. This is the period of completion of the earthly ministry of the path of the Savior. Then the Lord gathers the apostles and informs them that he will send them the grace of the Holy Spirit to comfort them,” says the priest.
According to legend, on the 50th day after Easter, when the apostles were all together, the grace of the Holy Spirit descends on them. That is, the day of the Holy Trinity is the completion of God’s care for the world.
“It turns out that the Lord comes into the world to preach himself. His Son comes to preach the gospel. He himself suffered, was crucified for us, and resurrected for us too. And in order for us to expect the second coming of Christ into the world, the Lord gives us the Church,” says Father Alexander.
This day is called the Day of the Holy Trinity because the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles indicates the Trinity of God. Faith in the Holy Trinity is the fundamental difference between Orthodoxy and all other religions, the priest explains.
The grace of the Holy Spirit, which the apostles received, we receive in the sacrament of chrismation, which takes place together with the sacrament of baptism.
This day also has its own superstitions: they say that on the day of Spirits the earth is a birthday girl.
“I have not found an explanation for this superstition. Definitely, Slavic paganism is involved here, because the Earth is being animated. Many are convinced that on this day earthworks should not be done. I always say that this is not true and has nothing to do with Orthodoxy,” the priest explained.
A week after the feast, the fast of Peter and Paul begins. It is also called Petrovsky post
Photo courtesy of Alexander Ermolin
The apostles accomplished a feat, but what did you do?
Holy Trinity Day is accompanied by three days of celebrations. There is no fasting these days, but a week after the feast, the fast of Peter and Paul begins. It is also called the Petrovsky post, the post of the Holy Apostles or the Apostolic. Its duration changes every year. This year it will run from 12 to 19June.
“The apostles followed Christ for three and a half years. They experienced the resurrection of the Lord, and for this the Lord gave them the grace of the Holy Spirit on the day of the Holy Trinity and the gift of speaking in different languages. After that, they fast for a week and go to preach the Gospel to the whole world,” says Father Alexander.
According to legend, the apostles went beyond the boundaries of the civilized world.
“Just imagine, a Roman legionnaire is in Rome and sent to Romania, then it was called Dacia. Distance 1000 kilometers. And for them, behind this Dacia is already darkness, there is nothing there, there is no civilization there. And the apostles went there. For a civilized person of that time, going beyond the boundaries of Greco-Roman territory meant the same thing as flying to the moon at least for us. I note that, according to legend, the Apostle Andrew the First-Called reached the territory of modern Russia,” shared the priest.
During the Petrovsky Fast, these events are remembered during the divine service; in general, the fast is dedicated to the feat of the apostles, Father Alexander notes.
“This is a call for you and me: are you ready to preach the Gospel like the apostles? They observed this fast because they understood that they needed to pass some kind of test.