Martin Chemnitz and His Church
On this trip to Germany I made it a point to go visit St. Martini Church in Braunschweig where Chemnitz served as superintendent and pastor, and where he is buried. The church was very well preserved, and the Chemnitz memorial plaque is featured prominently in the front of the sanctuary, just right of the chancel and altar. It holds a portrait of Chemnitz painted in 1580, the year the Book of Concord was published. It is one of the finest portraits of Chemnitz I’ve ever seen, and there are not many, to be sure. I was unable to locate precisely where Chemnitz is buried in the church. I didn’t realize that Johann Arndt was a pastor of the church until I entered it. There, right past the main door, is a large painting of Arndt with a plaque describing his life and career. We managed to slip into the church literally as a wedding was letting out. The bride and groom walked past me as I was taking a photo of Arndt’s picture. They didn’t seem to mind me, but I was a bit suprised to see them. Here are some photos I took, both of the exterior of the church, and interior. Clicking on the photo brings up the full size version. These are large images, so dial-up folks, please be advised. A few more comments: The altar in the church is not original to Chemnitz’ time, but was installed later, during the age of Lutheran Orthodoxy. As you can see, is has a stunning collection of statuary. Once again, in every church we visited, the artwork was beautiful. So, the next time you hear somebody opine that the "empty cross" is Lutheran and a crucifix is "Catholic" please find some kind way to help the person understand how entirely, utterly, completely and totally false this is.
I can’t figure out how to space these photos with captions, so I’m just going to put them below and then explain them here, in order.
Photo One: Interior of St. Martini Church, Braunschweig, Germany.
Photo Two: Exterior, front, of St. Martini Church, Braunschweig, Germany.
Photo Three: Close up of the portrait of Chemnitz inside the church.
Photo Four: The ornate frame and memorial in which the painting is found.
Photo Five: The altar in St. Martini