Ecumenical News International

Royal touch to the Reformation anniversary in Wittenberg

May 31, 2016

Wittenberg/Magdeburg (epd). More royal visitors are coming to Wittenberg for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The state chancellory of Saxony-Anhalt in Magdeburg has announced that, besides the planned visit of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden are expected in Wittenberg on 8 October. The royal couple wish to visit the original scene of the Reformation, it is reported, but has not yet decided on their exact programme.

By contrast, the short visit of Danish Queen Margrethe II on 2 October has already been planned in detail. Together with President Joachim Gauck, she will open the Castle Church after several years of restoration.

Margrethe II is embroidering an altar cloth as a gift

Margrethe II has promised to bring a costly altar cloth as a gift for the church. She wants to embroider the antependium herself. The main motif of the cloth is to be the Luther rose, which the Reformer used to seal his letters. Martin Luther's tomb is also in the Castle Church.

The official launch of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next year is planned for 31 October 2016 in Berlin. Numerous high-ranking political and church leaders are expected for the occasion. The posting of Luther's 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg's Castle Church on 31 October 1517 is regarded as the starting point of the Reformation and as the birth of Protestantism worldwide.



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