Reformation Day is the anniversary of the day Martin Luther, a former law student, nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.  As you can imagine, the theses were copied and spread throughout Europe.  (Remember, printing was crude and time-consuming.) The result:  The Protestant Reformation.

What you may not know is that Martin Luther was born into a musical family, playing flute and singing in the boys’ choir. Luther was instrumental in bringing congregational singing into the church because he felt “the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our hearts, minds, and spirits.” 

Because of his beliefs and extraordinary passions, he wrote one of the most famous hymns of all, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Here are the verse one lyrics:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
our helper frees us from the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe,
forsworn to work us woe,
with guile and dreadful might
is armed to wage the fight:
on earth there is no equal.  

Browse through our Evangelical Lutheran Worship Red Hymnal and find ELW 504/5.  There, you will find the words of Martin Luther written over FIVE HUNDRED  years ago!

Happy Reformation Day!  

Becky Jones
Worship and Music Coordinator
Holy Cross Lutheran Church