What is thy only comfort in life and in death?
The answer to this question has been music to the ears of Christians throughout the world for more than 400 years. That I belong to Jesus…who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins…, who makes all things subservient to my salvation…, and who makes me sincerely willing and able to live unto Him. That’s Lord’s Day 1. A stirring introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism! But, more than that, a grand theme that is woven throughout the whole of this precious creed.
This year marks the 450th anniversary of the first publication of the Heidelberg Catechism, a creed that arose out of the Protestant Reformation in Germany during the sixteenth century. An anniversary, it is, that ought not to pass unnoticed—especially by those heirs of the Great Reformation who still today profit from Heidelberg Catechism preaching…every Sunday.
The origin of the Catechism is well known. Elector Frederick III commissioned Zacharias Ursinus, professor at Heidelberg University, and Caspar Olevianus, the court preacher, to prepare a manual for catechetical instruction. The fruit of their work was approved by the Elector himself and by the Synod of Heidelberg and was first published in 1563. With its comfort motif and its warm, personal style, the Catechism soon found a place in the hearts of the people of God.
The Protestant Reformed Seminary is pleased to sponsor this special conference on the Heidelberg Catechism, commemorating its 450th ‘birthday.’