5 Luther is Ordained a Priest

After Luther had been in the monastery for two years, he was ordained as a priest. He had made peace with his father and invited him to attend the ordination ceremony.


The Bishop of Brandenburg gave Luther the chalice, the large goblet or cup used for the wine. In Latin, the Bishop pronounced these words, “Receive the power of sacrificing for the quick and the dead.” By these words, the Bishop gave Luther the power to change wine into the actual blood of Jesus and to change a wafer made of flour into the actual flesh and body of Jesus. The Catholic church still teaches this.

This teaching, or doctrine, is called transubstantiation. At the time, Luther believed the words. But later he said, “If the earth did not then open and swallow us both up, it was owing to the great patience and long-suffering of the Lord.”[i]

Have you not read in Scripture, that you should obey your father and mother?

Breaking the Commandment to Honour the Church

As Martin Luther ate a meal in the monastery with his friends, his father John, and the monks, the conversation turned to how Martin had come to the monastery. The monks said it was a great and holy thing that Martin did by joining them at the monastery.

John, Luther’s father disagreed. “Have you not read in Scripture, that you should obey your father and mother?” he asked. For it was against John’s wishes that his son should be a monk or a priest. He had hoped that his intelligent son would have continued in school and become a lawyer. John did not seem to have much respect for monks and priests.

[i] As quoted in d’Aubigne’s Reformation of the Sixteenth Century.