Luther Laid to Rest

luther_graveFebruary 22, 1546: Martin Luther is buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

It took three days for the funeral procession to reach Wittenberg. Crowds lined the streets of the towns along the route singing hymns in tribute to the great reformer. Stops were made in Halle and Kemberg. Finally at 9 am on the 22nd the bells in Wittenberg were rung to announce the arrival of procession at the Elster gate at the east end of town. Here, Katie and her daughter Margaretha, along with other dignitaries of the city and University joined to follow Martin’s body as it traveled through the streets of Wittenberg to the Castle Church. Once inside, the assembly joined in hymns until Johannes Bugenhagen, who had married Martin and Katie, gave the funeral sermon which was described as “festive and comforting”. Following the sermon, Philipp Melanchthon delivered a memorial speech in Latin. Finally, the younger professors from the University lowered the coffin into its resting pace at the foot of the pulpit where it still is today.

The photos are of Martin Luther’s grave and it’s place at the pulpit in the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Both are by Paul T. McCain.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux for Katie Luther

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