When is the Reformation Day?
Except for Chile, where it might be changed to a Friday based on what day of the week it occurs, this national holiday is usually observed on October 31st. During the triduum of Allhallowtide, on October 31, Reformation Day is a Protestant Christian liturgical celebration commemorating the start of the Reformation. It is also known as Halloween.
Philip Melanchthon claims that Martin Luther, a German monk, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the All-Saints Church at Wittenberg, Electorate of Saxony, in the Holy Roman Empire on October 31, 1517. Although it has never been verified, historians and other subject matter specialists contend that Luther may also have intentionally picked All Hallows’ Eve to attract common people’s attention.
According to the information that is now available, Luther wrote his writing to Mainz Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg on October 31, 1517. This has been confirmed, and together with the rumored (Melanchthon seems to be the only evidence for that) hanging of the Ninety-Five Theses/Grievances to the door of All Saints’ Church on the same day, it is today considered the beginning of the Reformation.
Reformation Day History
Martin Luther (1483–1546), a German monk, is remembered on Reformation Day for walking up to the Wittenburg church in 1517 and nailing his 95 “theses” (or proposals) to the door. Because he anticipated that All Saints Day would fill the church the next day, Luther decided to perform this on October 31.
When he published his thesis, Luther wanted to draw attention to the Roman Catholic Church’s indulgence practice. Indulgences were essentially pardons from sin which could be purchased, allowing those with sufficient wealth to do so. Luther had thought that by pinning his objections to the cross, he would encourage more discussion and cement the public’s opposition to the practice.
But because so many people accepted his views, they swiftly swept through western Europe, boosted by the printing press’s new creation, sparking the religious uprising described as the Reformation.
With the advent of the Reformation, several Christians decided to leave the Roman Catholic Church and found their own, distinct churches, such as the Lutheran Church. The crucial event ultimately resulted in the development of the different Protestant denominations, so named because they can trace their theological roots back to this “disapproval” of the Catholic Church.
According to Pew Research Center data from 2010, 37% of all Christians worldwide identify as Protestants. The first Reformation Day celebrations took place in the Germanic area in the seventeenth century, and from 1949 and 1967, East Germany observed Reformation Day as a national holiday.
The Lutheran and Reformed Churches, in particular, are among the Protestant denominations that commemorate it. As a result of ecumenical activities, some other Christian organizations now frequently recognize or take part in church ceremonies honoring Reformation Day. Included in this category are mostly the Roman Catholic Church and a number of Protestant groups that are neither Protestant nor Reformed, i.e., have no direct ties to the religious activities of 16th-century Europe.
In the US, churches will frequently rearrange the holiday such that it falls on the Sunday (known as Reformation Sunday) on or before October 31 and move All Saints Day to the Sunday on or after November 1.
Roman Catholic beliefs
Leading a Reformation Day liturgy in 2017 were Bishops Steven Delzer of the Evangelical Protestant Southeastern Minnesota Synod and Bishop John M. Quinn of both the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona. The Completed Doctrine of Justification, addressing several areas of theological contention between mainstream Lutheran Churches as well as the Catholic Church, was signed on October 31, 1999, by the Lutheran International Federation as well as the Pontifical Council for Achieving Christian Unity (See also Criticism of Protestantism). In 2006, the Global Methodist Council formally endorsed the Declaration.
In 2013, its Joint International Council between congressmen of the Lutheran World Federation as well as the Catholic Church released a report titled From Conflict to Communion in anticipation of the 2017 Lutheran-Catholic Popular Commemoration of the Reformation. In this report, it was stated that “in 2017, Lutheran, as well as Catholic Christians, could very well commemorate around each other the 500th anniversary of the starting of the Reformation.” The “shared commemoration” was an annual memorial that came to an end on Reformation Day in 2017.