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Reformation Day
Reformation Day
Luthers' 95

Reformation Day
aka Halloween
Table of contents


Reformation Day Basics

Battle Hymn of
the Reformation
Reformation Handouts

Reformation Statements




Book Recommendations

Reformation Day
aka Halloween

... no cursing the darkness allowed!

Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
                                           Matthew 5:14-16

Unfortunately, today, too many Christians focus their attention on the celebration of Halloween thereby giving even more publicity to the occult and those knowingly or unknowingly participating in it. Worse still, many Christians hide in their homes turning off the lights to discourage trick-or-treaters and remain virtual prisoners in their own homes !

Taking a pro-active, evangelistic approach to Reformation Day (on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther tacked up his 95 Thesis on the church doors of Wittenburg where the practice of indulgences are discussed) may prove much more fruitful.

A Great Reformation Day Faire can occur either at a church, but more preferably in the backyard in a neighborhood. In this way, Christians can invite trick-or-treaters to join in and have fun with Great Reformation Day activities. Rather than taking an antagonistic approach, invite trick-or-treaters in saying something to the effect of "Thou art dressed most unusually! Ah well, wilt thou care to join us in our celebration? Thou shalt visit many a fun shoppe, converse with important personages, or perhaps thou wouldst care to cast thine eye upon the events of the day? Thou wilt surely enjoy the many delicacies here and mayhap join in on the revelry!"

In this way trick-or-treaters will be kept safe from the hazards of Halloween (e.g., razorblades hidden in candy, poisoned "treats", etc.) and the unChristian nature of Halloween which will, undoubtedly, relieve the fears and concerns of the parents of trick-or-treaters. Moreover these parents are sure to join in the festivities and enjoy themselves, too, making this day a memorable one for the trick-or-treating family! Perhaps your village, town, city or metropolis may even re-initiate this custom to His glory!


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Battle Hymn of the Reformation

A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Listen & Lyrics
PDF File Worksheet

Other stirring Christian tunes

Onward Christian Soldiers
Listen & Lyrics
PDF File Worksheet
Christ Shall Have Dominion
Listen & Lyrics
PDF File Worksheet
Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
Listen & Lyrics
PDF File Worksheet


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Reformation Day Handouts
 Print off Indulgences on yellowish looking paper to give them an old type feeling, roll up and tie with twine. Next, place the Indulgences in a wicker basket to be distributed to Reformation Day Faire attendees.

Print off Martin Luther's 95 Thesis on yellowish looking paper for an old time feeling, roll up and tie with twine. Place the 95 Thesis in a wicker basket to be distributed to Reformation Day Faire Attendees.


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Important Reformation Day Statements

Sola Scriptura
The inerrant Scripture is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience.

Solus Christus Our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone.

Sola Gratia In salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by His grace alone; salvation is not in any sense our work.

Sola Fide Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.

Soli Deo Gloria Because salvation is God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory. Therefore, we must glorify Him always.



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Famous Great Reformation Personages to Re-enact!  
Fathers, mothers, and children may enjoy picking out a famous person during this time to re-enact.  Children can be the famous person at that age.  How interesting it would be to see a Wickliffe, Calvin, Luther or John Knox at the age of 5, 8, 12, 15 !  Have Great Reformation Day Faire attendees attempt to guess "who" the person is!  The following, hopefully, will give you some ideas of important personages during this time.

Theologians ... Grateful appreciation is given to Mr. George Calhoun of Mt. Olive Tape Library, PO Box 422, Mt. Olive, MS 39119, for the following information on the theologians.

(NOTE: Mt. Olive Tape Library is a great resource for home scholars and private Christian schoolers where audio tapes may be rented VERY inexpensively that will assist in the study of history, Christian apologetics and more!)   

Click here to view pictures of the Reformers.

John Wickliffe (1329-1384)
The Morning Star of the Reformation was a brilliant Oxford University scholar that offered constructive criticism to the Thomistic Theology. One of his achievements was translating the Bible into English and would, later, influence the Lollards in England. Students attending Oxford from Bohemia took Wickliffe's teachings back with them and which, in turn, influenced John Huss and Jerome of Prougue.
John Wickliffe (Fox's Book of Martyrs)
Theodore Beza (1519-1605)
When Calvin died, Beza became the leader in Geneva and on the continent of Europe. Beza's early training was in law. In 1556, Calvin invited Beza to become a professor of Greek at the Academy at Geneva and in 1559 Beza was made rector. Beza also assisted the Huguenot movement in France.
William Tyndale (1493-1536)
Tyndale was edcated at Oxford and Cambridge. He was forced to flee to Cologne, Worms, and Antwerp. Tyndale translated the older testament into English. However, he was constantly harrassed by Sir Thomas More (Archbishop of Canterbury) and was arrested, strangled, and burned at the stake near Brussels before he was able to finish his newer testament translation. It is Tyndale's Bible translation that is the foundation for the 1611 King James Bible.
William Tyndale (Fox's Book of Martyrs)
Tyndale Gallery

Ulric Zwingli (1484-1531)
Zwingli attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basle where he ws taught humanism. In 1518, he was called to be a pastor at Zurich Great Church in co-operation with the magistrates of Zurich. By 1530, Zwingli's had influnced Basle, Bern, Schaffhausen, and Constance. Zwingli died on the field of battle at Kappel in 1531.

Zwingli (German)

Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Attended the School of the Brethren of the Common Life at Mansfield and entered the University of Leipzig in 1501 receiving the A.B. degree in 1502 and his M.A. in 1505. Also in 1505, Luther entered the Hermits of St. Augustine Order of Monks. In 1512, earned his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Wittenburg and was appointed to the chair of lecturer in the Bible. Pope Leo X replied to Luther's writings with a bull of ex-communication if Luther did not recant in 6 months. In 1521 Luther was summoned to appear before Charles V, the princes of the Empire and the representatives of the Papacy at the Diet of Worms. It was here he made his famous refusal to recant. Nevertheless, Luther was protected by Duke Frederick of Saxony and spent the following 25 years laboring for the Church in Germany.
Selected works of Luther
Lutheran Hymnals

Augsburg Confession (1530)
Dr. Martin Luther to the Christian Reader

Bondage of the Will
Martin Bucer (1491-1551)
The "statesman of the Reformation", was trained in Thomistic Scholasticism, but after listening to Martin Luther's 1518 Disputation, he joined the Great Reformation. In 1521 he was released from his vows as a Dominican monk. In 1522 he was excommunicated after marrying. Fleeing to Strassburg in southern Germany, Bucer played an important role in furthering the work of the Great Reformation.
John Calvin (1509-1564)
Calvin was educated at the prestigious University of Paris and was intended for the priesthood. During this time, Calvin's father had an argument with the church and ordered Calvin to study law at the famous Law School at Orleans under Pierre l'Etoile. In 1533, Calvin had a conversion experience and in Novemeber was asked to present the inaugural address for Nicholas Cop, who was being installed as Rector of the University of Paris. Both Calvin and Cop were forced to flee Paris as a result of the speech. In 1536, Calvin's famous Institutes of the Christian Religion was published at Basel. While going to visit Martin Bucer in Strasburg, Calvin met up with William Farel in Geneva who persuaded Calvin to take over the leadership of the Great Reformation. Many theologians during this time were students of Calvin including the magnetic John Knox of Scotland. Calvin is known as the "prince of exegesis".
A Letter to the Pope

An Inventory of Relics
Cardinal Sadolet's "Letter of Concern" & John Calvin's Response (1539)
Calvin's Commentaries
The Necessity of Reforming the Church
Blessed are they whose Iniquity is Forgiven
Grace & Salvation
Of Justification by Faith
Prayers & Devotions
Faith on Trial: The Sufferings of John Calvin By Robert Godfrey
Institutes of the Christian Religion
John Hooper (1495-1555)
John was a graduate of Oxford and helped to spread the faith at that institution. Subsequently, he had to flee from England twice. He was devoted to biblical exposition and exposure of the sins among spiritual and political leaders. In 1522, Hooper was made an Anglican bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, but was burned by Queen Mary in 1555. Hooper would preacher several times daily, visited his people, was generous to the poor and encouraged the reading of the Bible in English. When he was being burned at the stake, the fire starter asked Hooper's forgiveness. "Thou dost nothing to offend me. God forgive thee thy sins, and do thine office," was Hooper's reply. His last words were:  "Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me .... Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
John Knox (1514? -1572)
Knox was taken captive by the French where he was forced to be a galley slave. He returned to England in 1549 and participated in the Reformation under Edward VI. When Mary (aka Bloody Mary) ascended to the throne, Knox fled to Geneva. In 1559, Knox returned to Scotland and played a major role in drafting the Scottish Confession (1560). In spite of the hostile opposition of Queen Mary, Knox played a major role in the development of the Great Reformation in Scotland as pastor of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The Royal Mile (John Knox's home)
John Knox Page

Knox's Edinburgh House
John Knox Information
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)
Due to his conscience and education at Cambridge, Cranmer became a firm supporter of the Great Reformation. In 1532 he married the niece of Osiander with papal approval. He was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533 and pronounced the marriage of Henry and Katherine of Aragon null and void. Under Henry VIII's protectrion, Cranmer reformed the church in England. Under Edward VI, he made even greater strides and was instrumental in producing the First Book of Common Prayer (1549) and the Second Book of Common Prayer (1551). Cranmer was tried and convicted of heresy under Queen Mary in 1555 and was burned at the stake in 1556.
Long Ago & Far Away (Cranmer bio)
Jocque Lefevre (1455-1536)
Lefevre had been a leading Humanist with his work in biblical languages making him a pioneer of the French Movement. As a University of Paris professor, his lectures, biblical comentaries, and doctrine of justification by faith alone did a mighty work for the Great Reformation. In 1524, Lefevre published the newer testament in French and in 1528 he translated the older testament in French. Lefevre was one of the greatest scholars of his time in biblical Greek.
Hugh Latimer (1480-1555)
Latimer distinguished himself at Cambridge in his studies and opposed Philip Melancthon. He was a persecutor of Protestants who "blasphemed" the Gospel. However, after his conversion, Latimer was a pastor with great zeal becoming the bishop of Worcester. Henry VIII greatly respected Latimer who always preached honestly to the people as well as the king, never resorting to flattery. One time, Latimer presented the adulterous Henry VIII with an English newer testament folded down to the text, "Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Latimer and Ridley were brought to the stake under Queen Mary (aka Bloody Mary) where Latimer said to Ridley, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out."
Hugh Latimer, Bishop & Martyr

Philip Melancton (1497-1560)
Melancton was a brilliant linguist and was a professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg. He soon became a staunch supporter of Luther. In 1521 Loci Communes was published and he also framed the Augusburg Confession which was presented to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530.

Philip Melancton (Project Wittenburg)
The Power of the Gospel

The Phillip Melanchthon Quinquennial

John Bradford (1510-1555)
Bradford received his M.A. from Cambridge in 1549 with his first two volumes recently printed by the Banner of Truth. After studying law, Bradford immersed himself in the study of Scripture. Nicholas Ridley licensed him to preach. Keeping a diary, Bradford often lamented over his sins. Bradford, too, was burned at the stake by Queen Mary. Mary's friends wished Bradford to die in secret; however, word got out and hundreds came to Smithfield. His last words to a young man that was being burned with him were, "Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night."
Bradford's Writings
John Hausschein (1482-1531)
(called: Ecolampadius)

From the Palatinate, Hausschein became a leader in Basle. He was educated in law at Bologna, in theology at Heidelberg and at Tubingen and Stuttgart. He was a brilliant student particularly in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In 1515, Hausschein met Erasmus and assisted him in the prepartion of the Greek newer testament. In 1523, he became a professor at the University of Basle and through this position he became a leader in this city.
Thomas Becon (1512-1567)
Educated at Cambridge and studied under Latimer. When Elizabeth I came to the throne, Becon became a canon of Canterbury. He published over forty volumes with all being saturated with Scripture. Though many wanted him dead, Becon died naturally, having spent his life in training young men, writing, and preaching.
Henry Bullinger (1504-1575)
Bullinger succeeded Zwingli in 1531 in Switzerland and became a leading figure in the writing of the Second Helvetic Confession (1563).


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Inventors Conquoring previously unthought of areas for Christ via God's Law-Word

J. Johann Guttenberg (metal movable type for printing) Evangelista Torricelli (barometer)
Peter Henlein
(pocket watch)
Galileo Galilei
(practical telescope)
Zacharias Janssen
(compound microscope)


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Explorers expanding the boundaries of Christendom

John Cabot Christopher Columbus
Fernandes Gaspar Corte-Real
Ponce de Leon Cortes
Giovanni Verrazano Estevao Gomes
Lucas Vasuez de Ayllon Cabeza de Vaca
Jacques Cartier Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
Hernando de Soto Joao Rodrigues Cabrillo
Martin Frobisher Sir Francis Drake
Sir Walter Raleigh John Davis
Don Juan de Onate Captain John Smith (the John Wayne of the Reformation set)
Samuel de Champlain Adriaen Block
Henry Hudson Plymouth Colony Pilgrims


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Go to "The Book Page" and click on the Great Reformation under the Classics and Children's Books not only for a variety of books, but internet field trips (by clicking on an author) and a number of other places to visit at the bottom of those pages. Also see G. A. Henty's books from this time at Reformation

Fox's Book of Martyrs one of the great English classics. . . . Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when "a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid," "climbed the steep ascent of heaven, 'mid peril, toil, and pain." "After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification."


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Request:  Do you have any special activites (craft, academic, or otherwise) for Reformation Day?
If so, e-mail us your ideas by clicking

© Beverly Schmitt 1997-2004, all rights reserved
Questions/Comments? E-mail

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