1517 – Let’s Celebrate!

As Catholics and Protestants across Europe prepare to celebrate together the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, Ignatius brings you highlights of forthcoming events for all the family.


In Germany, on the spectacular 35 hectare site of a former military aerodrome outside Dusseldorf, in a unique floral tribute, there will be two enormous portraits of Martin Luther and Pope Leo X made entirely of tulips – one for each victim of the Wars of Religion.

In the celebrated castle church in Wittenberg, to mark the actual anniversary of the 95 theses, there will be a continuous reading, by the Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, of the Decretals of the Council of Trent. (The congregation is advised to bring sandwiches.)

Celebrations in the United Kingdom will include an historical pageant in Westminster Abbey, introduced jointly by the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Great Britain and the Chief Rabbi, in which the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, will appear dressed as both Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.

In Glasgow the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will carry the Blessed Sacrament in procession from Celtic Park to Murray Park where the Archbishop of Glasgow will give Benediction.

In Northern Ireland the two Archbishops of Armagh will lead a procession along the Falls Road, headed by a banner depicting the late Dr Ian Paisley and accompanied by the massed bands of the Orange Order and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, playing Danny Boy.

In Lewes (East Sussex) the local Council has taken out an injunction against the Society of Jesus and the Order of Preachers, who were rumoured to be planning various commemorative burnings.

Watch this space for further news of exciting ecumenical events.

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