Reformation Imagery: The Church and Church Service

Church interiors changed after the Reformation. The pace of change varied in different countries and areas.  In some places change happened fast, and in others more slowly. The most visible difference between before and after was the dismantling of the many altars dedicated to saints, who were not worshipped in the new Lutheran faith.

The pictures and statues that had decorated the saint altars were removed. In some cases they were destroyed, due to the fear that they would be worshipped as they had been in the old church. Elsewhere they were stored away or handed back to the people who had originally paid for them. Often, however, the pictures and figures were kept in the churches, for example on the wall as examples of good Christians.