Historical Pictures of the Ev.-Luth. Divine Service
by Helmut Schatz
English translation by Matthew Carver
Buchbrunn & Repperndorf
(Villages of Kitzingen) Evangelical-Lutheran Churches
Confessional Painting of Buchbrunn. Photograph: J. Diestelmann. Fig. 10, 11 (Detail of 10)
Altar predella from Reppendorf: Photograph taken by author. Fig. 12.
“Our church was further enriched by the same family (that is, the Meuschel family: the painting hanging in the sacristy was bequeathed by Karl August Meuschel in 1891 according to a parish document of 1912–13) through a Reformation-era image from the school of Lucas Cranach dating to circa 1540. The church’s liturgical rites are represented within a crowded area, the Holy Supper being distributed in the foreground by Martin Luther (right) and Philipp Melanchthon (left) to Electoral Prince John Frederick the Bold and his wife Sybille (1532–46). (See Literature: 500 Jahre . . . Buchbrunn, op. cit.) Unfortunately, the painter is anonymous. Especially prominent here among the celebrated confessional paintings is the representation of Martin Luther (and Philip Melanchthon in a surplice [chorhemd] and two other ministers) distributing Communion (cf. Luther from Coburg, Illustration of the nineteenth century, likewise with surplice). The surplice was also used in those villages (for Buchbrunn, mentioned in 500 Jahre . . . Buchbrunn, op. cit.) which were able and required to stand firm as evangelical-Lutheran communities during the hardships of the Counter-Reformation (e.g., Bishop Julius Echter of Mespelbrunn, the “Schönborn Bishops,” and others), since the territorial prince determined the religion of his subjects. Territorial princes, in this case, included the bishops of Würzburg and, in Buchbrunn, the convent of St. Anna (Hist. Atlas, op. cit.). Regarding the convent of St. Anna founded in 1714, see Maximilian Gritzner, Handbuch der Damenstifte (Frankfurt am Main, 1893).
In Kunstdenkmäler . . . (op. cit.) it says (p. 72), “Painting. Distribution of the Sacrament according to the protestant rite. Includes portraits of Luther and Melanchthon. Heavily damaged. Not without cultural-historical interest. Ca. 1550.” According to a parish document, the painting “was renovated in Würzburg in 1914 by the painter Hauschild at a cost of 45 marks, and is still hanging in the church (according to the kind notice of Pr. Bausenwein on 6 August, 2002).
In neighboring Repperndorf, an altarpiece from 1608 by Hans (Johann) Heunisch (the date being painted on a flagon in the altar scene) depicts the distribution of the Holy Supper by clergy in surplice and red chasuble [Messgewand]. Also included are the inscriptions: (upper left) “I. VERBUM AVDIMUS. Gottes Wort wir hören, das zeigt an / was wir in diesem Abendmahl han,” [We hear God’s Word, which indicates what we have in this Supper] and (lower left) “II. MODVM NESCIMVS. Die Form und weise wie das zugeht / Kein Mensch in dieser Welt versteht.” [No man in this world knows the form and manner how this happens.] Upper right: “III. MOTVM SENTIMVS. Doch wird dadurch das hertz bewegt / und newe kraft darin erregt.” [Yet the heart is moved thereby and new power is stirred up therein.] Lower right: “IV. PRAESENTIAM CREDIMUS. Der Glaub weiß das zugegen ist / Der Leib und Blut Herr Jesu Christ.” [Faith knows that the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are present.] Can it be that this altarpiece also comes from a convent resident mentioned by Stolz (op. cit., pp. 29ff.)? “The parish asset derives from a bequest to the church which Anna Weickhar included in her testament of 5. August, 1606.” This Anna Weickhar was doubtless of the protestant religion, as Stolz (op. cit.) reports. “. . . the relationship of the two religious communities in Repperndorf was not without deep-seated, centuries-long tensions, including even civil court disputes over ecclesial property. As in many villages of mixed confession, Repperndorf also had a simultaneum [shared church] (of rather unclear legal ramifications).”
Presumably, the “affiliates of the Augsburg religion” wished to demonstrate: We are part of the one church and with regard to traditions have made no inordinate changes—above all, no change to the ritual of the divine service from the external perspective. They refer to the Augsburg Confession, which states in Article 24, “Of the Mass. The Mass is not abolished by the evangelicals, but is retained with greater devotion than among the adversaries” (meaning the both Roman Catholics and Reformed). “The forms of the divine service are not perceptibly altered. But the error of the Mass as being a sacrifice for the living and the dead by which to remove sin and propitiate God has been abolished.” (Evangelische Gesangbuch, 1995, pp. 1564 ff.)
Incidentally, the Roman Catholic collegiate church of St. John, Neumünster, in Würzburg was patronate “chief pastor” of Buchbrunn-Reppersdorf.
Richard Herz. Chronik der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirchengemeinde Kitzingen (Kitzingen, 1963).
Historischer Atlas von Bayern: Kitzingen mit Buchbrunn und Repperndorf (München, 1987).
Angelika Marsch: Bilder zur Augsburger Konfession und ihrer Jubiläen (Weißenhorn, 1980).
Landkreisbuch Kitzingen (Kitzingen, 1984).
Arthur Carl Piepkorn. Die liturgischen Gewänder in der Lutherischen Kirche seit 1555, illus. [in English: The Survival of the Historic Vestments in the Lutheran Church after 1555 (St. Louis: School for Graduate Studies, 1958)].
Walter Scherzer. “Die Protestanten in Würzburg,” in Zeitschrift für bayerische Kirchengeschichte 54 (1985).
Walter Scherzer. “Die Augsburger Konfessionsverwandten des Hochstifts Würzburg nach dem Wesfälischen Frieden,” in Zeitschrift für bayerische Kirchengeschichte 49 (1980).
Ernst Schmidt. 500 Jahre Pfarrkirche St. Maria Magdalena in Buchbrunn 1480–1980. (Buchbrunn: Ev.-Luth. Kirchengemeinde, 1980).
Ernst Schubert. “Gegenreformation in Franken,” in Jahrbuch für fränkische Landesforschung 28 (Degener, 1980).
Albrecht Schübel. Das Evangelium in Mainfranken (München, 1958).
Valentin Stolz. Das Simultaneum in Repperndorf: Inaugural-Dissertation (Würzburg: Boegler, 1905).
Ulrich Thieme, Becker Thieme, eds. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler, article: “Heunisch, Hans (Johann),” vol. 17 (Leipzig: Seemann, 1924).
Die Kunstdenkmäler des Königsreichs Bayern, 2: Die Kunstdenkmäler von Unterfranken & Aschaffenburg: Stadt und Bezirksamt Kitzingen (Oldenbourg, 1911).
Alfred Wendehorst, ed. Germania Sacra, Neue Folge 26: Bistum Würzburg 4, Das Stift Neumünster in Würzburg (De Gruyter: Berlin, 1989).
Würzburgischer Hof- und Staats-Kalender für das Jahr 1748 (Staat Würzburg, 1748).