In dulci iubilo

  • Ninna Jørgensen
Nøgleord: Reformation preaching, Christmas, liturgy, liturgical year, homiletics, medieval sermons, joyful exchange, Bernardine spirituality


Luther’s Christmas sermons 1525-1530 constitute an identifi -
able entity. In his yearly efforts to present the “old” announcement to
his congregation, he uses a set structure. He retells Luke’s gloomy birth
narrative from a historical point of view and introduces, in marked
contrast, the angelic revelation of the divine secret behind this humble
appearance. The pronouncement of a saviour born “to you/us/ me”
is the fi rst and fundamental sermon in the new dispensation. Joy and
praise remain its response. Luther’s integral use of liturgical celebration
is viewed in relation to the preaching by esp. Bernard of Clairvaux,
whom he admired greatly. It is furthermore argued that his conscious
affi liation to traditional elements of worship is not only a product of
his confrontation with the “spiritualists”, but can also be seen as an
acknowledgement of the sermon’s function in service and the need of
talking and catechizing to the senses.

Jørgensen, N. (2012). In dulci iubilo. Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift, 75(4), 236-253.