Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sunday Blessings- The Just Shall live by Faith

Martin Luther posting his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral

Reformation Day - October 31

On Oct. 31, 1517, a young monk, dissatisifed with some of the practices of the Catholic Church, wrote a letter to his superiors about his problems. With the letter he included 95 propositions for discussion and debate. Although this was not the first time someone had questioned the authority and practice of the Church, Martin Luther's act marks the symbolic beginning of the Reformation, of which most of us are spiritual heirs.
Accordingly, many Protestants--principally Lutherans, but also Presbyterians and other Reformed denominations--celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day. For convenience, local churches often transfer the celebration to the preceding Sunday, hence the name Reformation Sunday.
In earlier days, when there was a great deal more animosity between Catholics and Protestants, the latter group often celebrated Reformation Day as we would celebrate a military victory. There would be triumphal processions, hymns glorifying the church, and often the sermon would be a diatribe against the "Papists." (To be fair, during the period the Catholics--in a different part of Europe--would be dealing the venom right back to the "heretics.")
Today, while the hymns remain (as they should!) many Protestant and Catholic churches use Reformation Sunday as a opportunity to highlight areas of common agreement. On Oct 31, 1999, the Lutheran World Federation (of which the ELCA is a member) and the Roman Catholic Church signed a joint declaration on the doctrine of justification, clarifying positions where Lutherans and Catholics agree and disagree.

6 Fertilize my soul:

Kathryn said...

Funny, i thought the 30th was Reformation day. Guess i got mixed up.

I'm thankful for what Martin Luther did, & thankful when churches can be kind rather than acrimonious with each other.

Terra said...

Thanks for this reminder of Reformation Sunday, and Martin Luther's work. I love when churches work together harmoniously.

Amrita said...

Thank you for your comments Kathryn and Terra.

You are right, it is a good thing when brothers dwell in peace and harmony. Letting go of their differences churches should have harmonious relationships with one another. Our worship styles may be different but be worship One God.

We don 't follow the liturgical calender in our church , I saw this on my Polish friend, Zimb 's blog.

Zimbabwe said...

In Poland 31th October is free day for Lutherans and Calvinists. Some Baptist and Pentecostal churches have this day also in memory and have special services (in Cracow my church don't have it).
I was in Wittemberg, in Germany. I could see the house of Luther's childehood. I was also in the Wartburg Castle and I saw the room, where Luther translated Biblie on German language.

Felisol said...

Funny, we are a 90% Lutheran Nation, the majority of the Norwegian population belongs to the public Norwegian Lutheran church.
Even so, we don't celebrate reformation day.
Yesterday, October 31st was celebrated as All Saints Sunday in all Norwegian churches. Today, November first is All Saints Day.
Somehow the Catholic way of thinking and celebrating have always been rooted in both our calendar and sesonal celebrations.
I think that's good.

Amrita said...

You were very fortunate to visit the places where Martin Luther lived an d served.

Dear Felisol,
Yes it is a good hing to oay homage to the saints who have set us a good example and thos e who hav e laid down their lives for the faith,