We took a last minute trip to Cape May attended the 11 AM mass at none other than Our Lady Star of the Sea. It was standing room only and I was moved to tears of gladness that so many people came to honor Our Lady. The readings and gospel were filled with so many theological truths that it got me wondering. Where did the protestant movement lose sight of Our Lady. Luther in particular had a deep reverence for Mary. But today, it seems all protestants consider Mary as a foot note. Where in history did this change? Are all denominations similar in their view of Mary? I am not trying to pick an argument, I just wonder what happened?
Lutherans consider most mariology to be adiaphora, with the exceptions of the virgin birth and Holy Theotokos. Most Lutheran theologians accepted the semper virgo, and opinions vary on the Assumption and the IC. Generally, Lutherans hold her in high regard, but the focus is Christocentric, though I think we need to look at her more, as perhaps the greatest example of the Christian life in history.
of the few writings of Luther I have read and/or heard on Mary leads me to believe that he held her in higher regard than contemporary Lutherans. is that a fair observation? if so, what happened
I totally agree, Protestants just see Mary as something negative. I was talking to my gf’s mom who used to be catholic, their Seventh Day Adventist, and she started saying that mary was a special lady and they respect her, but they believe she’s asleep, and that she had oter kids.
I told her some verses using the parallels between 2 Samuel 6 with Luke 1:39-57 to compare how she is the ark. Also I compared genesis 1:1- 3:15, to john 1:1 to john 2:6, I said you guys don’t teach this, you guys are not deep in scripture. I told her that’s why John describes in Revelations that he sees the Ark and then sees a woman in the sky. I told her if you don’t make those parallels you don’t see the significance of Mary.
The whole point to being protestant is that it’s not Catholic. So anything that could be considered Catholic was tossed away by the future denominations (except Christmas because they think they invented it).
Mary is seen as a “Catholic” thing so they took it way to fart and see her as just another person.
Many churches are starting to realize that wasn’t far and starting to look more favorable towards her.
I completely agree with what you said. they believe we treat Mary in the same level and power as god, which is an absurd statement with no basis
Lutherans also celebrate today the most Blessed Virgin Mary as St Mary, Mother of our Lord or the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on our church calendars. Luther did, in-fact, believe that holy Mary was assumed into heaven but since this is impossible to verify, most Lutherans honor our Lady, the Mother of God, death today.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Protestants don’t see Mary as something negative. Our way of honoring Mary doesn’t meet up to Catholic standards. Furthermore, how can a Protestant show Mary more honor? I would like to, in person, ask a Catholic that.
I’ll submit that Catholics take scripture and Tradition seriously in that “all generations shall call me blessed”. And we can can see God using Mary through the generations to call us to her Son. A listing of apparitions approved by the Church are here.
I can’t stress the point above enough…it’s God that uses Mary to call us to her Son. My sense is that God understands in our humanity the importance of Mothers and how we as humans will listen to our mothers. He’s just trying to get us to listen especially the words of Mary: " Do as he says "
Mary is in a very real sense, our mystical connection to the spiritual Church.
How do we understand this?
In Gen. 3:15 we see from the very beginning that God gives Mary a unique role in salvation history. God says “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.” The phrase “her seed” is not seen elsewhere in Scripture. The Scriptures begin and end with the woman battling Satan. This teaches us that Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and the new Eve.
In John 2:4 and 19:26 Jesus calls Mary “woman” as she is called in Gen. 3:15. Just as Eve was the mother of the old creation, Mary is the mother of the new creation. This woman’s seed will crush the serpent’s skull.
Isaiah 7:14 and Matt. 1:23 tell us a virgin will bear a Son named Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Luke 1:35 tells us the child will be called holy, the Son of God. Mary is the Mother of the Son of God, or the Mother of God (the “Theotokos”).
In Luke 1:43 Elizabeth says Mary is the “Mother of my Lord” which is the equivalent of “Holy Mary, Mother of God”. Jesus is a divine person, and this person is God. Mary is Jesus’ Mother, so Mary is the mother of God.
Luke 1:28 states “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” These are the words spoken by God and delivered to us by the angel Gabriel. When Catholics recite this verse while praying the Rosary, they are uttering the very words of God. The phrase “full of grace”. This is a unique title given to Mary, and suggests a perfection of grace from a past event.
Mary is not just “highly favored.” She has been perfected in grace by God. A few verses down, Luke 1:42 says “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” The phrase “blessed are you among women” really means “you are most blessed of all women.” Luke 1:48 says Mary prophesies that all generations shall call her blessed, as Catholics do in the “Hail Mary”. Gal. 4:4 - God sent His Son, born of a woman, to redeem us.
By calling Mary co-redemptrix, Catholics are simply calling Mary “the woman with the redeemer.” Mary had a unique but subordinate role to Jesus in salvation.
I would also like to add nowhere in Catholic teaching is there anything that directs Catholics to worship Mary. Catholics do not ‘worship’ Mary, we do however venerate her.
Venerate means To regard with respect, reverence, and heartfelt deference.
One of the 10 Commandments is “Honor your Father and your Mother.” One honors their father and mother and respects them. Catholics do so for their parents, and for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Worship means the reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or sacred object, which we do not accord to our parents. We pray “to” Mary in the old sense of the word. In Elizabethan English they would say "I pray thee…… It is a pleading to a person of dignity.
The Hail Mary says “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus! Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”
We are first “praying the scriptures”, and second, we are asking Mary to pray for us to the Lord even as I might ask a living Christian to do. For “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Why in person?
I am a former protestant, my wife is protestant, the city I live in is heavily Protestant. I have been to numerous protestant services. I have never heard Mary mentioned except at Christmas time. Unless it was to discredit her. Like saying Jesus scolds her at the wedding at Cana. Which, in my opinion, there is no indication of that in scripture and it is purely biased against her.
I’m not an expert in history but it does seem to be the case, as you discovered, that this developed later in Protestantism. Not knowing the history I can’t say why or when this actually occurred, but I can speculate as to what might sustain the view.
A diminished view of the Communion of Saints is almost certainly a factor. The intercession of the Saints is rejected. With no intervention the role of the Saints decreased.
A stress on faith against works might be a factor. Since works are diminished the acts of Christians seems to be diminished. It would be wrong to think this means Protestants do not think a Christian should do good works. But it seems to me that what is preferred is Christian stories that communicate faith’s mental component. There is no problem with a sermon on St. Thomas, whose lack of faith is presented as a mental challenge.
Another aspect might be a focus on Social Justice and the trivializing of religious practice, including things like fasting and chastity. This is not as universal. But where the Social Gospel is overemphasized Mary may matter less because there is no record of her feeding the hungry. Where practices like fasting and chastity are disregarded then the consecration of Mary to God as a perpetual virgin is unimportant.
Another factor might be a more secular influence: democracy and later Jacobin equality. Especially in modern times we are all so equal that no one should be elevated above another. To honor Mary would be to put her above others and that won’t do.
This is all speculation but in my reflections I have thought that these factors might allow the decreased view of Mary to be sustained and the Catholic position hard to comprehend.
Just speculating here, but I think it varies depending on where one is. America is different than Europe when it comes to Lutheran piety. Here in America, we’ve been influenced, unfortunately, by Reformed protestantism, the foolish notion that we shouldn’t look too Catholic, and the pietist movement. I don’t think that it is a matter of not holding her in high regard. Lutherans do. I just think it is a matter of Christocentrism.
I would like to visit a Catholic church(again), but I don’t want to be alone. I would like to attend with a Catholic who can answer some of questions.
How often should Mary be mentioned? I don’t know and it depends on the preacher. One preacher mentioned her several times and cried when he talked about her at Jesus’ crucifixion. He said Protestants don’t honor Mary enough. I agree, but I can’t tell my pastor, or other preachers, to give more sermons about Mary.
That’s unfortunate. August 15th is the Feast Day of St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord, on the Lutheran Calendar. Additionally, one would expect to hear about her during Holy week and Easter.
Regarding, Cana, I have an entirely different perspective on it, but I don’t believe He was scolding her at all.