Ulrich Zwingli was a Swiss protestant leader in the reformation. He was born in 1484. He attended universities at Basle and Vienna and served as a parish priest in Glarus, Switzerland. H was the most important reformer in the Swiss Protestant Reformation and the only major reformer of the 16th century whose movement did not evolve into a church.
When Zwingli was appointed pastor at Grossmunster, (the Great Cathedral) in Zurich, he began his duties, on 1 January 1519, by preaching through the Gospel of Matthew. This bold action of replacing the mass with the preaching of the Word as the central focus of church services marked the beginning of expository preaching.
In December 1523, the council set a deadline of pentecost in 1524 for a solution to the elimination of the mass and images. Zwingli gave a formal opinion in Vorschlag wegen der Bilder und der Messe (Proposal Concerning Images and the Mass). He did not urge an immediate, general abolition. The council decided on the orderly removal of images within Zurich, but rural congregations were granted the right to remove them based on majority vote. The decision on the mass was postponed.
Evidence of the effect of the Reformation was seen in early 1524. Candlemass was not celebrated, processions of robed clergy ceased, worshippers did not go with palms or relics on Palm Sunday to the Lindenhof, and triptychs remained covered and closed after lent. Opposition to the changes came from Konrad Hofmann and his followers, but the council decided in favour of keeping the government mandates. When Hofmann left the city, opposition from pastors hostile to the Reformation broke down. The bishop of Constance tried to intervene in defending the mass and the veneration of images. Zwingli wrote an official response for the council and the result was the severance of all ties between the city and the diocese.
May 29th, 2015
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