The marquee @ a local Baptist church reads “Celebrate Reformation Sunday here”. Is the date, Oct 29th, common celebration of this in all/most Protestent churches?
At my old Lutheran Church, the entire month of October was devoted to the Reformation & of course, our hero, Martin Luther. :rolleyes:
Reformation Sunday is the Sunday nearest to October 31, the anniversary of Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, which is considered to be the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
I hadn’t thought that Baptists would celebrate this, though - my Plymouth Brethren friends have never even heard of it, before. I thought it was the more mainstream Protestants who did this.
PS: It’s fitting, somehow, that Samhain and Reformation Day both fall on the same date.
To the best of my knowledge, having spent most of my life in the Methodist and Episcopal Churches, and spending some time in the Baptist and Presbyterian Churches, they don’t pay much attention to Reformation Sunday. The Lutheran Church I now attend paid a great deal of attention to it yesterday.
It’s largely a Lutheran/Reformed thing. I’m not surprised that some Baptists celebrate it–they are likely to be the more Calvinistic and historically aware Baptists. The celebration has become more popular in recent years among conservative evangelicals because of concerns with the secular celebration of Halloween. However, some evangelicals (including Focus on the Family, at least if I’m remembering rightly from an episode of Adventures in Odyssey I heard years ago) are returning to the celebration of All Saints’ Day.
Anglicans and Methodists celebrate All Saints’ Day. This was in fact the only part of the sanctoral cycle Wesley retained in his revision of the Book of Common Prayer for American use (though this revision in turn was mostly ignored by American Methodists until relatively recently).
I took a visiting friend to a local conservative Anglican church yesterday–the priest is an ex-Catholic. They celebrated All Saints’ Day by having the kids (and some of the adults) dress up as saints–some Biblical but many traditional Catholic saints (one teenager dressed up as St. Bernadette!). One of the adult members wore a red thread around his neck to represent Christians guillottined at Auschwitz, though he specifically mentioned St. Maximilian Kolbe, who of course was killed differently. . . . It was interesting, especially since in his sermon the priest made a point of rejecting any form of prayer to the saints, while affirming that they intercede for us.
Yes, I missed singing *For All The Saints *at my Lutheran service, although we did do a stirring rendition of A Mighty Fortress (albeit a translation different from which I am familiar).
Reformation Sunday (the celebration of Luther’s posting of the Ninety-five Theses on October 31, 1517, has always been (at least in my experience) an important part of our Lutheran heritage.
I am happy to say, (again, at least in my experience) that it’s emphasis has changed. In times past, it was a very triumphalistic celebration as we celebrated David (Martin Luther) taking on Goliath (the Catholic Church) and winning. This year, we celebrated the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, an important step in healing the wounds that have separated us for nearly five hundred years.
Another indication of the change in Lutheran thinking about the celebration of the Reformation is that last year (or, maybe, the year before – a senior moment strikes:( ) the homilist at the annual Reformation service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC was Cardinal McCarrick. In years past, that would have been unthinkable to most Lutherans. We give thanks for each step that move us closer to reconciliation and unity.
As do we.
Peace to you Gary
re:the non-Catholic churches that celebrate All Saints day.
Are there any ‘confirmed’ saints in their understanding? We RC’s have those the church has cannonized. (Acknowledging that there are those in heaven not cannonized ). It seems like a slippery slope towards Rome.
We all know that there are saints in heaven, as well as saints on earth, whether they have been canonized by the Catholic Church or not. So, no, I don’t think it is a slippery slope so to say.
I often wonder if protestants know as much about the catholic order of St Augustine when they are celebrating Reformation Sunday. They praise Luther but I wonder if they really know the spirituality which motivated him and to which he remained loyal for the rest of his life.
By the way, “For All the Saints” was originally an Anglican hymn, not a Catholic hymn. “A Mighty Fortress” was written to the tune of an old German drinking song.
I have noticed a growing number of protestant churches claiming they are celebrating “Reformation day” as an alternative to Halloween.
And in my Catholic church, the children dressed up like their favourite saint on Oct. 29. Probably, an early start to All Saints’ Day.
We have a Sunday (next week, this year) around All Saints/Reformation Sunday, when our (Methodist) pastor has a special presentation on saints of Christian history…Some are Catholic, others not…
I have done presentations on St Teresa of Avila, & St Joan of Arc. Sometimes folk have done Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Theresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, & also less known people who were outstanding examples of Christian faith…including some who lived among us here in this area, even in our congregation.
It is also a way of reminding people of the origins of Halloween as All Hallows, of All Souls & All Saints…
Sometimes this falls, I suppose, on Reformation Sunday, but I don’t think anyone I know really thinks of it that way. Just as a way to remember those who went before us in faith…
We had that hymn Sunday, as well as the sermon topic being around the Reformation - and about the reading from the book of Romans on faith. Funny how we just read James a few weeks ago about "faith without works is dead’…
Here’s an interesting perspective on Reformation Sunday by the Rev. Randy Day, of the United Methodist Global Ministries. It’s well worth reading:
The Episcopal Church recognizes the Saints that were canonized prior to the Anglican split, and the Saints she herself has named (though these saints don’t seem to be accorded the same amount of respect as the older Saints–they’re simply given a minor feast).