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Martin Luther and his Theology on Worship in the Church during the Reformation - Research Paper Example

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Martin Luther’s Theology of Music and the Reformation of Faith for Protestants . Even before Martin Luther (1483-1546) was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, he cherished and furthered revolutionary ideas of worship and liturgy in the church. Luther’s position and contributions to music cannot be understood apart from his reformation theology…
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Martin Luther and his Theology on Worship in the Church during the Reformation

Download file to see previous pages... “Luther thought music to be a gift from God and considered it of the highest importance next to the preaching of the Word (i.e., theology)1” . Luther’s theological views on music and his instigation of different methods of worship in the Catholic Church have helped Christians during the reformation era revitalize their faith. Catholicism is not compatible with Lutheran’s brand of liturgy because their religious principles are widely distinct. Catholicism embraced superstition. Catholicism’s worship was grounded on tradition, rather than on the Word of God. Catholicism’s worship remained locked in an incomprehensible language to the masses. Catholicism’s liturgy was static, predictable, meaningless and therefore, not spiritually edifying to the congregant. With such doctrines as the Eucharist, purgatory, the worship of relics, indulgences and Latinized readings, the masses were not being fed nourishing spiritual food which would be salvific in nature and lead to their salvation. Catholicism instructed the multitudes in errors, primarily concerned with death, which warped their perceptions of God, causing them to deviate further from the truth. The Eucharist service is one in which Catholic believers are encouraged to equate the presence of the Lord Jesus with the bread and wine of Communion. The Communion celebrates the death of Christ and in Catholicism, congregants observe more emphatically the sacrifice of the Savior without impressing upon the people’s minds the reality of Christ as a risen Lord. The Catechism affirms that Christ Jesus… “is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species”2 Devotion in honor of the dead is another prevailing conviction advocated in Catholicism. The idea was held in wide currency that the dead somehow acquire divine power when called upon can help the living in distress, because of the alleged virtue of now residing in heaven. For the Catholic service “another common practice was the worship of relics, or physical objects such as bones or keepsakes of famous saints”3 . Adherents firmly believed that the possession and worship of relics would sanctify them in some manner and improve their opportunities at being saved. The deception was that the relics were in reality the bones of dead animals which the clergy designated as the bones of saints. Another doctrine forwarded by Catholicism was purgatory. In the Catholic liturgy “through congregational participation the people could effectively work themselves and their deceased loved ones out of purgatory and into heaven …such celebrations included requiem masses, vigils, the common week, and All Souls’ Day”4 (Dieter). Purgatory is the teaching that the souls of the dead are in a state of limbo between heaven and hell. To rescue the deceased souls, the faithful were expected to pay large sums of money for extra masses and prayers so that the dead would be redeemed and enter heaven’s gates. Indulgences is another liturgical rite in which “pieces of parchment were said to possess the power to credit the buyers with the merits of Christ together with the superabundant merits of all the saints” to deliver the beloved dead from perdition in purgatory. These rounds of superstition only confirmed the belief in error and steered the flock from the principles of justification by faith, the word of God and Jesus Christ alone. As a result, the Reformation rose ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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