Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Reformation Day

We hope to celebrate Reformation Day, this year, on 31st October. Why 31st October? Luther is said to have pinned his theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on 31st October 1517.

Whilst 31st October 1517 was probably not the real date of the start of the Reformation, it is celebrated as Reformation Day in parts of Europe and also in the US. As far as I am aware, few people celebrate it here in the UK.
Why do we bother? Not because we think that there is any reason that we have to celebrate this day but to teach our children about the spiritual aspects of the Reformation and major figures in it. As a side wind, it is also a useful distraction from other ungodly celebrations on that day which can prove quite frightening to little children.
This is the third year we will have celebrated. The first year, we thought about Martin Luther, read a little about his life, sang "A safe stronghold our God is still" and made ginger bread as it has vaguely German connotations. Last year, we thought about John Calvin and this year, we plan to remember William Tyndale.

In preparation for this, we have started a children's story about a fictional boy who accompanies Tyndale on his travels. It is always difficult to suggest ages for books but I would guess it is suitable for aged 8 plus, possibly a bit younger if read aloud.

I am planning to read a very short section of the Latin Bible to illustrate how difficult it was for the general population to understand services and part of Tyndale's translation.
In addition, we will probably eat something with a vaguely Tudor theme possibly these "excellent small cakes".
I would be delighted if anyone has any other ideas about this and to know whether anyone celebrates Reformation Day and if so, what you do.


  1. This reformation day we shall mostly be at church or hiding at a relative's house. Our local area is not very pleasant on the evening of October 31st...

  2. Yes, we will probably do much of this on 1st November although the book is underway and we may well eat the cakes on 31st! Being a Sunday makes it easier to avoid "Trick or treat" but harder to avoid the younger children seeing people dressed up in scary costumes and make up.