While for many Americans, Oct. 31 is associated with Halloween, for many churches across the world, the date is meant to celebrate the birth of the Protestant Reformation.
Wednesday marks the 501st anniversary of when Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, located in modern-day Germany, to protest the abuses in the Roman Catholic Church.
Over the centuries, several songs have been written that celebrate or at the least reflect key themes of the Reformation. Here are seven hymns to help one celebrate the Protestant holiday.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
This one had to be on the list. Considered by many to be “Battle Hymn of the Reformation,” scholars believe Martin Luther wrote the song during the 1520s.
The earliest confirmed appearance of the song in a hymnal comes from 1533. Since then, it appeared in many others, having been translated into approximately 200 languages.
O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold
Another one from the pen of Martin Luther, this hymn was originally published in the first Lutheran hymnal, titled the Achtliederbuch, in 1524.
The lyrics were based off of a paraphrase of Psalm 12, being one of many sacred songs Luther wrote with the Old Testament book as an inspiration for the words.
The Church’s One Foundation
Nineteenth century Anglican priest Samuel J. Stone wrote this hymn, originally published in Lyra Fidelium: Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed in 1866.
Stone wrote the widely used hymn in response to his concern over a South African Bishop’s rejection of the traditional dating and authorship of the Bible and the ensuing schism.
Source: Christian Post