There are two things I love about Trinity Sunday: The Lorica and The Athanasian Creed. According to Christian monasticism a “lorica” is a prayer recited for protection. Tradition tells us that St. Patrick would recite the words of his lorica each morning upon rising. Lorica is also understood in the Latin to mean “armor” or “breastplate”. All of this, of course evokes the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (6:10-18), wherein he writes about putting on all of God’s armor:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
It is Christ Who is our Righteousness. It is He we are to put on each day, covering our heart (which the breastplate of old also protected) from the arrows of the evil one, that is the devil. Without His protection our heart, our lives, our very souls are the devil’s for the taking.
The Athanasian Creed likewise protects us, as explained in its opening statement (REC BCP, 36):
WHOSOEVER will be saved, before all things it is
necessary that he hold the catholic Faith.
Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled,
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
This creed is traditionally attributed to the 4th century bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, due in no small part to his strong defense of the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, and the creed’s strong declaration of the Trinitarian faith. The doctrine of the Trinity is also visually described by the Shield of the Trinity:
This 12th century diagram’s then-only known name was the Latin “Scutum Fidei” – Shield of the Faith, which was taken from the Vulgate of Ephesians 6:16. And so we come full circle this Trinity Sunday, protected by our Shield and our Faith.
This is the catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.