Reformation Day

Reformation Day Quick Facts

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2024 DateOctober 31, 2024
2025 DateOctober 31, 2025

Reformation Day

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Reformation Day History

Reformation Day commemorates the beginnings of the major movement that challenged the Catholic Church in 1517. Started by German theologian Martin Luther, the period of Reformation would create tension and division within the Catholic Church. Luther would deliver a list of propositions called the Ninety-five Theses. In it, he would dispute the abuses of power he witnessed in the Catholic Church.

Given Martin Luther’s propositions, the Catholic church would criticize and condemn him in 1521. This led to his excommunication and eventually his splitting away from the Catholic Church. Two sub-groups would be formed: Lutheranism and Protestantism. Reformation Day is observed annually on October 31st.

Reformation Day facts

  • One of the most significant outcomes of the Reformation was the translation and dissemination of the Bible in numerous vernacular languages, which was previously only available in Latin. This change increased literacy rate and clarified church teachings for the common man.
  • In 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Reformation Day was recognized as a public holiday throughout Germany for that year only.
  • The Reformation redefined the nature of religious authority, asserting that the Bible, rather than the Pope, was the highest religious authority.
  • The Reformation resulted in a split in the Christian Church, establishing Protestantism as a separate branch alongside Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.

Top things to do for Reformation Day

  • Many churches, especially those in the Protestant tradition, offer virtual services and sermons on Reformation Day. Check if your local church or any other churches are streaming a service online, and participate in the celebration from the comfort of your own home.
  • Reformation Day has close ties to German culture, as Martin Luther was German. Consider baking traditional German treats like pretzels or Black Forest Cake.
  • Take some time to research and learn about Martin Luther's life, his role in the Reformation, and his theological beliefs.

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