The Church Year

The story of Christ for us in colors


The "church year" is a calendar mapping out all the greater and lesser festivals of the church within the different "seasons" of the year.

 

Each season is color-coded, the color conveying significance and meaning. These colors, called "liturgical colors" are reflected in the altar paraments - the cloth hanging down the front of the altar, from the lectern and pulpit. The banners hanging on the wall on either side will also be the same liturgical color, as will the pastor's stole.

 

Church Year blue3

Advent

Christmas Eve

Christmas

Epiphany

Baptism of our Lord

Season after Epiphany

Transfiguration

Ash Wednesday

Lent

Holy Week

Palm Sunday

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Easter

Ascension

Pentecost

The Holy Trinity

Season after Pentecost

Reformation

All Saints' Day

Last Sunday of the Church Year

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent

BLUEVIOLET
 

advent wreath

ADVENT, the four weeks before Christmas, marks the beginning of the church year and is a time of preparation for the Lord's coming, which is what "advent" means: "coming". Lamentations 3:26 reads "It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

 Advent Banner

We prepare our hearts and homes not only for the Lord's coming at Christmas (His incarnation) but also for His Second Coming, when He will come again in glory.

 

Traditionally the color for the season of Advent has been violet, a color for repentance and inner reflection, acknowledging our sin and turning to Christ for forgiveness, thanking Him for our salvation.


advent candles blueIn more recent years, the color blue has been adopted, still reflective of our sinfulness and need for forgiveness, but also of the sure hope we have in Jesus Christ for our salvation. Blue is the color of the sky, reminding us of the heavenly glory that is ours through faith in Christ.

 

Christians like to put an advent wreath in their homes during Advent which symbolizes God's eternity and our joyous hope of eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Four candles are placed around the wreath, lighting one on each subsequent Sunday in Advent, announcing brightly: "The Lord comes!" Children love to light the candles, like a count-down to Christmas, and families gather around them for family devotion time.

 

Candle1

 Candle 1: Is lit on the 1st Sunday in Advent. HOPE

The first candle symbolizes Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. God keeps His promises and He kept His promise of sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ, giving us the sure hope of eternal life.

 

Candle2

  Candle 2: Is lit on the 2nd Sunday in Advent. PEACE / PREPARATION

The second candle represents John the Baptizer who prepared the way for the Messiah's coming by preaching repentance. We receive peace through repentance and forgiveness.

 

Candle3

 Candle 3: Is lit on the 3rd Sunday in Advent. JOY

The third candle depicts a joyfool mood and represents John's testimony to Christ: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1,29) We have joy in the coming Savior.

 

Candle4  Candle 4: Is lit on the 4th Sunday in Advent. LOVE

The fourth candle represents the angel Gabriel foretelling Jesus' birth, God becoming incarnate. God's love for us is so great that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to save us.

 

Candle5

 Candle 5: The Christ Candle is lit at Christmas. JESUS CHRIST - Light of the World

Often a larger, white candle is placed in the center of the wreath and is lit at Christmas. It represents the One we have all been waiting and preparing our hearts and homes for: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of the Nations, Redeemer of the World, King of kings, Lord of lords!

 

At Trinity Midweek Advent Services are held on the Wednesday evenings during the Advent season, usually with soup suppers before the service. The readings, hymns, and sermons highlight the main Scriptural teachings of the season. This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to celebrate Advent in anticipation of the coming Savior.

 

 

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Christmas Eve

WHITE 

  White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

nativity2

 

Christmas Eve is the night before Christmas Day, the celebration of our Savior's birth. The Christmas trees are decorated with ornaments and lights in anticipation of the upcoming celebration. We gather at church on the eve of Christ's birth because Christ was born at night.

 

Traditionally the nativity story is reenacted by the Sunday School children

playing the roles of the different characters. At Trinity we have one family
ChristmasEveCandles

service in which not only the children, but also the youth and all adults participate in the service. The children, dressed up in costume, enter at the beginning of the service in a processional behind the cross, singing a beloved Christmas hymn / carol. Then the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Savior and the New Testament fulfilment of the prophecies (the nativity story) are either read or recited and corresponding hymns are sung by the congregation, the children and the choir. The sermon is preached by the pastor and prayers and the benediction conclude the service. Silent Night, the last carol, is sung by candlelight, each person holding a candle.

 

christ in christmasEverybody is invited to come back the next morning to celebrate Christmas, the acual day of Christ's birth. Unfortunately our culture has been caught up with opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning, which robs many of coming to church during that time to "open" the biggest Christmas present ever given and received: Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, and to give Him laud and honor on this His most holy day.

 

 

 

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Christmas

WHITE

 

White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

chrstnewborn

 

  Merry Christmas! The long-awaited Messiah, for Whom we had prepared our hearts and homes all through Advent, is finally here: Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of Mary!mangercrucifixColor

 

Christmas and Easter are the highest feasts in the church year. Christmas and Easter are the two goals God had in His plan to save the whole world and restore His people to Himself. If Jesus hadn't become human, there'd be nobody to atone for our sins, die on the cross for us and be raised from the dead for us and we would still be in our sins with no hope of heaven.

 

TrinityChristmas

 

 

That is why we gather at church on Christmas morning to honor our Savior, born in Bethlehem as a tiny helpless baby, the greatest gift ever given and received!

 

greatestgift

Here, in the Divine Service, our Newborn King and Savior of the Nations comes to us yet again to deliver to us that which He won for us through His perfect life, His suffering and death and His resurrection: forgiveness of sins - through His means of Grace: Word and Sacrament.

 

Just like the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" suggests, there are twelve days in which we celebrate Christ's birth; starting with Christmas Day, December 25th through January 6th. During this "Christmas Season" we continue to joyously commemorate Christ's birth. In many countries the Christmas tree is only set up and decorated on Christmas Eve and taken down around January 6th.

 

 

 

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Epiphany

WHITE 

White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity. 

epiphany


epiphany2The Festival of the Epiphany is January 6th and here at Trinity it is usually celebrated on the Sunday before the 6th. "Epiphany" means "to make known" or "to reveal". On this day we celebrate that Jesus is made known to the nations  as the Son of God. He came not only for the Jews, but also for the gentiles, for all people. The reading we hear on this day is of the Magi coming to the young Jesus to worship Him as the King of kings, reavealing to us that Jesus is indeed God Whom we are to worship.


 

 

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Baptism of our Lord

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

Baptism Jesus

 

The First Sunday after the Epiphany we hear the story of the Baptism of Jesus (Mt.3:13-17). Jesus asks John the Baptizer to baptize Him. John is reluctant, feeling unworthy to baptize the Lord as he feels it
baptismJesus Doveshould be the other way around: the Lord baptizing him as he is in need of forgivesness and the Lord is not!

But Jesus has the sins of the whole world on His mind - at His baptism He takes on the responsibility of His task as Savior and sets His mind firmly on heading toward Jerusalem and His ultimate death and resurrection. Here, at His baptism, God the Father confirms that this man standing in the water is His beloved Son, to Whom we are to listen. All three persons of the Holy Trinity are present at Christ's baptism: God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

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Season after the Epiphany

GREEN 

 Green is the color for growth. God the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts, strengthens our faith and causes it to grow through Word and Sacrament.

Epiphany3

This is the season of revealing. The readings during this season are about Jesus continuing to reveal Himself as the Messiah, the Son of God, calling His disciples and reassuring them (and us) that He indeed is The One, the long-awaited Savior.


Jesus begins His ministry on earth at His baptism, and then proceeds to do miracles like turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, and many others, in order that the faith of His disciples and others is strengthened and doubts about His divinity are extinguished. The season after the Epiphany prepares us for the season of Lent.

 

 

 

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The Transfiguration of our Lord

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

transfiguration
 Transfiguration Sunday marks the last Sunday of the Epiphany Season before the season of Lent begins.

 

 The reading of the Transfiguration tells us about how Jesus' body was suddenly "transfigured" to become dazzling white and two long-dead prophets, Elijah and Moses, standing on either side of Him, were talking with Jesus. We read that this sight was so beautiful that Peter offered to build three tents, one for each of them, so that this scene might not end! This was a foolish notion as it was contrary to Jesus' plan of salvation for the world - dying on the cross and rising again.

 

Although Jesus' transfiguration lasted only a short while, it gave His disciples a glimpse of heavenly glory that they (and we) might understand that life does not end with death but that our life in Christ continues in all eternity with Him in heaven.

 

 

 

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Ash Wednesday

VIOLET 

Violet is the color for repentance: reflection on our sin and turning back to God

 

ashwed

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the season of Lent.

 

We gather at church for a sombre service where we are reminded that we are mortal, sinful beings, in need of our Savior Who chose the road of suffering and death to redeem us from our sin. The pastor takes ash onto his thumb and makes the sign of the cross on each person's forehead with the words: "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." This emphasizes our sinfulness and mortality and our need for cleansing and forgiveness through Christ, our Savior. We then proceed with the Divine Service where we do indeed receive absolution. This absolution is sealed with the reception of Christ's body and blood for the forgiveness of sins in Holy Communion.

 

 

 

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Lent

VIOLET 

 Violet is the color for repentance: reflection on our sin and turning back to God

LentCross
 Lent is the six-week period before Easter in which Christians take time to "tune back" and reprioritize their hectic schedules to make time for pondering all the suffering Jesus has gone through for us that we might not die eternally but have eternal life! To help us to this end, we gather at church every Wednesday evening for a short, reflective Lenten Service. Here we hear readings from Christ's passion - the account of His suffering and dying for us, and hear how in His great love and mercy for us He forgives us our sins. We can never hear too much about this.

 

All "alleluias" are ommited during this season to reflect the sombre, reflective mood.

 

Lent is also a good time in which to refresh in our minds what we have learned during confirmation class about our faith - what we believe and why we believe it - as it is summarized in Luther's Small Catechism.Lent

 

Lent is probably best known in the secular world as a time in which to "give something up". This in itself has no real meaning. One does not "make oneself better" or "more pious" or "more pleasing to God" when one gives something up for Lent. But if it is an aid to reflect on what Christ has done for us through reading His Word and meditating on it prayerfully, then it is useful and of benefit.

 

 

 

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Holy Week

HolyWeek1

 

Holy week is the week before Easter. It begins the Sunday before Easter with

 

HWPalmSundayPalm Sunday, and runs through

 

HWMaundyThursMaundy Thursday,

 

HWGoodFridayGood Friday and

Holy Saturday

 

Holy Week is considered to be the pinnacle of Lent, all of Christ's work on earth culminating in the events that unfold during Holy Week. The mood during this week is sombre and reflective.

 

 

 

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Palm Sunday

VIOLET 

 Violet is the color for repentance: reflection on our sin and turning back to God

PalmSundayHWPalmSunday
 Palm Sunday gets its name from the reading for that day: about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, just as it had been prophesied hundreds of years before. People cut down palm branches and strew them and their garments in front of Jesus on the ground as He was riding into the city. They were shouting excitedly: "Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna to the King!"

 

palmsunday1Although the mood for this Sunday is more upbeat because of the excited hosannas, it is still subdued because we read that Jesus is riding into Jerusalem to do what His three year ministry on earth worked toward: His suffering and death for us.

 

The people's excited hosannas, however, will soon turn into angry shouts to crucify Him a few days later. The poeple thought that Jesus would be their next King of Judah to drive out the oppressive Romans, hence their excited shouts of "Hosanna to the King!" and were disappointed and upset when He did not rise up to overthrow them with earthly power and might, but rather stayed meek and humble. They did not understand that His goal and purpose was to suffer and die for all of humanity's sins.

 

 

 

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Maundy Thursday

VIOLET Violet is the color for repentance: reflection on our sin and turning back to GodWHITE

 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

MaundyThursday

 

The color for Maundy Thursday can be either violet or white. Violet because Maundy Thursday is still in the season of Lent where we reflect on our sinfulness and turn to God for forgiveness. White because it is a festival of Christ and His institution of His Holy Supper.

HWMaundyThurs 

 Maundy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Lord's Supper by Christ Himself. Jesus knows that He is soon to be betrayed, tortured and killed on the cross, so He does two important things to prepare His disciples (and us) for life after His crucifixion:

 

1) He washes the disciples' feet; and then after the Passover meal, He

2) institutes the Lord's Supper

 

MTfootwashing Jesus did the footwashing to teach His disciples and us that when He washes us clean, we are clean indeed and that our sins are truly forgiven. We are washed clean in the waters of Holy Baptism. There the guilt and grime of our sins are washed away and we are adopted into God's family. In our day to day life we "dirty our feet" because we "walk in the paths of sin". Jesus washes our feet every time he forgives us our sins. Every time the pastor says the words: "In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins", Jesus washes our feet clean. He also teaches us to humble ourselves and serve our neighbor in love, just as He did.

 

MTLastSupper This night Jesus lays out His last will and testament for us: He provides for a means by which His work of salvation - winning for us forgiveness of sins and eternal life through His suffering, death and resurrection - is brought to His disciples and us: a special meal called The Lord's Supper or Holy Communion, also known as the Holy Eucarist.

Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, and said: "Take eat, this is my body, given for you, for the forgiveness of sins." Then He took the cup of wine, gave it to His disciples and said: "Take drink, this is my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do in remembrance of me." With these words, Christ instituted this special Supper, in which we receive Christ's very body and blood in the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins.MTLastSupper1

 

The Maundy Service service is a sombre service of thanksgiving for the Lord's Supper, a gift from God that "transports" the blessings Christ won for us on the cross, to each one of us personally. The Lord's Supper is celebrated on this day with special thanksgiving.

 

 

 

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Good Friday

BLACK 

 Black is the color of death and mourning

HWGoodFriday 

 On this day we commemorate Christ's suffering and death for us on the cross. This is what Jesus had come to earth for. This is why He was born as a little baby in Bethlehem - became man - taught and did miracles for three GoodFriday1years for - all for this one day. Christ speaks of this event as the day on which He is glorified. How can Christ be glorified by His death - it was so cruel and despicable, full of blood and gore? Jesus' logic sounds backwards, doesn't it? Thank God for that! Because He suffered and endured it all FOR US, that we might be freed of the guilt of our sin and have everlasting life. He exchanged our grimy, dirty sin and guilt for His glorious perfection. In Christ, God no longer sees our sinful beings, He chooses to see the righteous, perfect Christ Who covers us.

GoodFriday

 

The Good Friday service at Trinity is a very sombre, subdued service, respectful of Christ's suffering and death. All the crosses are covered with black veils. At the end of the service, the congregation reads Psalm 22 while members of the altar guild respectfully take down all paraments and banners, completely stripping the altar, just leaving the veiled crosses. This symbolizes the death of Jesus and Him being laid in the dark tomb. The congregation then leaves the sanctuary in silence.

 

Holy Saturday is the day we commemorate Jesus Christ's body lying dead in the tomb, awaiting its resurrection. There is no special service at Trinity on this day. Other churches may celebrate what is known as Easter Vigil where they have services all through the night into Easter morning.

 

 

 

 

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Easter

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

 

 Easter altar1“He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

These jubilant greetings on Easter morning joyfully echo from one believer to the next, proclaiming the good news that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and lives!

 

The somber mood of Holy Week is dispelled, all the black veils of Good tomb3c

Friday are gone, Easter lilies adorn the altar, the alleluias which had been omitted during Lent once again ring with joyous salutation and hymns of Christ’s victory over sin and death are sung. Christ is no longer dead; He is alive! He has conquered death, bringing forgiveness, peace and comfort to all people!

tomb risen


Happy Easter! He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

Trinity has a Sunrise Service on Easter morning during which the altar, which had been stripped on Good Friday, is ceremoniously decked with white paraments. White paraments are also hung on the pulpit and lectern, banners are hung on the wall, and the white Easter lilies are arranged on and around the altar.

 

White ParamentAfter the Sunrise Service an Easter breakfast is served, and bible class and Sunday School are taught. Thereafter the festive Resurrection Service is held during which the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated with Holy Communion, where Christ “transports” to each of us personally the blessings He won for us through His death and resurrection as we eat and drink His body and blood in the bread and wine.


Watch a video "What is Easter?"

 

How do you determine the date of Easter each year?

 

 

 

 

 

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Ascension

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

Church Ascension 

This festival is celebrated 40 days after Easter. We commemorate the day Jesus ascended into heaven after having risen from the dead 40 days before.

 

Jesus took His disciples onto a hill and blessed them. Then He gave them the Great Commission, saying:

 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

ascension-255x340 

“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.


angelsAnd while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11

 

We give thanks to God for the ascension because now Christ is everywhere at the same time and is not bound by time and place. Just as He had said, He is with us always, to the end of time.

 

 

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Pentecost

RED 

 Red is the color for the Holy Spirit

Church Pent Dove


Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter. This festival is a commemoration of the very first Pentecost where the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit in a very special way. It is also a celebration of thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for working faith in our hearts and maintaining it through Word and Sacrament to life everlasting.

 

Church Pent Flamespentecost 11244cAfter Jesus’ ascension the disciples were all in a closed room in Jerusalem, waiting, just as Jesus had commanded them to do. They were to wait for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Whom Jesus promised to send to them. They were afraid and didn’t dare venture out for fear of being lynched. Suddenly they heard a rushing sound and tongues of fire descended on each of their heads and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were no longer timid and afraid but bold and courageous, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to those around them in the city.

 

BaptismWe, too, have been filled with the Holy Spirit in a special way – in Holy
Baptism shellBaptism! With the three splashes of water and the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” the evil spirit
vacated the heart to make way for the Holy Spirit Who works faith in us and keeps strengthening our faith through the means of grace: Word and Sacraments. As a forgiven, Holy Spirit-filled child of God, we can also boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us.


 

 

 

 

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The Holy Trinity

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

 

Trinity Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Pentecost. This celebration honors, praises and celebrates the Trinitarian nature of the Lord: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

trinity01
God teaches us in His Word, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate persons in one holy Godhead. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. Not three Gods but one God in three persons, a blessed Trinity.

 

imagesThe Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, but each is God, not three Gods but one God in three separate persons.


On Trinity Sunday we like to confess the Athanasian Creed.  It carefully explains what the Trinity is and what it is not.

 

 

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Season after Pentecost

GREEN Green is the color for growth. God the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts, strengthens our faith and causes it to grow through Word and Sacrament


Anchor cross and net

The season after Pentecost spans from Trinity Sunday (around end of May / beginning June) till the end of the church year (end of Nov). If you look at the church year wheel above, you will notice that this half of the church year has fewer big festivals, with the Reformation and All Saints Day dotting the green landscape, as opposed to the very “festive” first half.

 

Green parament1That being said, every Sunday is a “little Easter” and no less festive than the festival of Easter, as Jesus Christ comes to us every Sunday in His means of grace: His Word and the Sacraments, to grant us forgiveness, strengthening of faith, life and salvation. What a joy every week!

 

This "green" season focuses on the day-to-day life of the Church – how the Holy Spirit works through the preached Word and the Sacraments to “grow” faith in people’s hearts and reach out to others through them.

 

Green parament2As God’s forgiven children, people help their neighbors in need, support the work of the church, help reach the lost with the Good News of Jesus’ forgiveness, invite family and friends to church, and hold daily devotions with their families. Because God has already found favor with them in Jesus Christ and His forgiveness, they are free to live mercifully and reach out to those around them. This is not restricted to the “green season”, but happens every day throughout the year, regardless of what “season” it is.

 

Many congregations, including Trinity, host a Mission Festival sometime during this season. They invite a missionary to a foreign country to talk about his work amongst the people there. Fundraisers like pie auctions help raise funds for these missions. 

 

 

 

 

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Reformation

RED

 

 Red is the color for the Holy Spirit

300px-Luther46c 

Reformation Sunday celebrates the Reformation which was sparked in 1517 Wittenberg, Germany, by the monk, university professor and Doctor of Theology Martin Luther and continued throughout his life and beyond his death in 1546.


The Reformation came about when Luther came to the realization that the Church at the time was teaching false things, like the following: only the pope truly knows what the bible teaches and only he can correctly interpret it; you can purchase forgiveness with money even if you're not sorry for your sin and even before you commit the sin (letters of indulgence); you need to earn your right to heaven by doing pious works; only the clergy were to receive the whole Sacrament; the bible was to be read and church services done only in Latin; God is to be feared above all else; and many more points.

95-Theses 

Luther wrote up a list of all of these grievances, 95 in all, wishing to discuss them with other learned clergy so that together they could make things right again according to what the bible actually teaches. On October 31, 1517, as was custom at the university, he posted them on the “bulletin board”, the church door, hoping to spark constructive conversation.

 

johann-gutenberg-picture
These 95 theses (points of discussion), however, sparked more than conversation; they proved to be highly offensive to church officials as well as highly encouraging to those who thought Luther had expressed their own thoughts exactly! Without intention, Luther had instantly polarized people into two groups: either passionately for him or passionately against him. His supporters swept him up and put him at the head of this new movement, printed and distributed the 95 theses throughout the land, effectively fanning the spark into a raging fire. There was no turning back now.

 

300px-Luther-vor-Cajetan
Luther before Cardinal Cajetan
In the following few years, Luther had been summoned to appear before various cardinals and papial emmisaries who tried to coerse, intimidate and/or demand Luther to backtrack and recant (undo) all he had written and said. Luther continued to humbly maintain his position, saying he'd
worms
Luther at Worms
gladly recant if they could show him in Holy Scripture where he was wrong. They never could, so he never did and said the famous words: "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen." He was subsequently declared an outlaw at the Diet of Worms with a bounty on his head, wanted: dead or alive.

 

Wartburg Eisenach410
Wartburg Castle
Fortunately for him, the Elector of Wittenberg, Frederick the Wise, was a supporter and gave Luther protection where he could, even having him "kidnapped" and hiding him in the Wartburg Castle for 10 months. While there, he translated the New Testament into the vernacular, German, making it possible for the first time for ordinary folk to hear God's Word in their own language!


In the meantime people thought Luther was dead. Many felt they needed to carry on the reformation where Luther left off when he "died". Chaos resulted. False teachings were preached in Luther's name and people were stirred up to violent outbreaks. Priests were beaten, churches ransacked and general confusion and anarchy reigned.


Luther preaching orderLuther could no longer stand idly by while this happened, put his own life in danger and returned to Wittenberg to put an end to this madness or to at least try to get the rabble under control. For five consecutive days he preached fiery sermons against all the violence, condemning all the evil done in his name and as the violence eventually subsided and people realized what they'd done, he preached the sweet Gospel of forgiveness. Finally order and peace were reestablished. Luther was not going to go back into hiding. He would stay in Wittenberg and continue spearheading the reformation, training clergy, advising statesmen, preaching and teaching the Law and the Gospel of God's Holy Word.


Fred WiseElector Frederick the WiseLuther was considered an outlaw with a bounty on his head all his life. As long as he didn't stray too far from Wittenberg and the protection of the elector, he was free to move around safely. He and his learned colleagues continued working on translating the bible from the original Hebrew and Greek texts into the vernacular German. Reformers in other countries took Luther's lead and started translating the bible into their languages too. Much of this work was done in secret for fear of retaliation from the church.


presentation of_augsburg_confessionMelanchton presenting the Augsburg ConfessionThe emperor and the pope wanted to know exactly what the "herectics" believed so Luther and his colleagues worked together to put their confession of faith to paper. Philip Melanchthon played a big role in compiling their statement of faith. It is know as the "Augsburg Confession", a document that was read by Melanchthon to the emperor, princes, rulers and papial emissaries at the Diet of Augsburg (Conference at the city of Augsburg).


Luther continued preaching and teaching that the Holy Bible is the supreme authority in the church and all else must be subject to God's Word (Sola Scriptura); that we are saved by grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fide), and in Christ alone (Solus Christus).

luther rose_sticker-p217027624132864603envb3_400

 

His theology was aptly summarized by the seal which he had designed and which was adopted as the official "Lutheran" symbol: The Luther Seal or The Luther Rose. 

 

catechismIn 1529 Luther wrote the Small Catechism, a concise summary of what the bible teaches, not only for pastors to teach laity, children and adults alike, the basics of their faith, but first and foremost for the head of the household to teach his family. To this day the Lutheran Church uses the same Small Catechism to teach laity (children and adults) the basics of their faith. Parents are strongly encouraged to teach their kids the catechism at home too.

 

Luther also wrote the Large Catechism which goes into greater depth and detail. Luther and his colleagues translated the Old Testament into the vernacular to add to the New Testament which Luther had already translated, giving the people access to the Word of God in their own language for the first time ever.

 

Luther wrote many hymns which are still sung today. He wrote many theological works and writings, giving guidance to clergy, theologians and laity.

 

Martin Luther died in 1546.

 

 

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All Saints' Day

WHITE 

 White is the color for Christ - it symbolizes purity.

 

AllSaintsDay

 On this day we remember all those who have fallen asleep in Jesus, especially those who have received their Crown of Life the past year at Trinity. We give thanks to God for not only giving them saving faith but also for maintaining and strengthening their faith throughout their lives to everlasting life. They now see with their eyes what they had believed: Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, Savior and Redeemer, the Good Shepherd in Whose arms they now rest.

 

We sing joyously the beloved hymn for this day and find comfort in the words: For All The Saints (LSB 677)

 

1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!


3. O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle; they in glory shine;

yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


5.From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,

through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,

singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

 

 

 

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Last Sunday of the Church Year

 GREEN

 Green is the color for growth. God the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts, strengthens our faith and causes it to grow through Word and Sacrament

heavenly jerusalem 

The readings on the last Sunday of the Church Year focus on things to come - on the Last Day when Christ returns in glory to take all believers to heaven with Him; and on eternity - how our dead bodies will be raised and reunited with our souls to live with Christ and His glorious presence to all eternity.

 

 

 

 

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