Sixteenth century Lutheran funeral sermons were intended for both clerical and popular audiences and sought to instruct and console the grieving. Unlike the Lutherans, the Reformed rejected most funeral ceremonial, including the preaching of funeral sermons. The collection of funeral sermons by the Reformed pastor Johann Brandmüller is unique in applying the Reformed style of published sermons, intended primarily as a theological resource for pastors, to a distinctively Lutheran genre. Brandmüller’s Funeral Sermons (1572) was a theological compendium devoted to scripture passages deemed appropriate for funerals. The 180 sermons covered topics that could be preached at the funerals of people from all estates and applied to a wide variety of circumstances related to their death. Brandmüller’s work was an attempt to teach the skills of pastoral care for the bereaved that had no precise counterpart in either Lutheran or Reformed churches.
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