Coming Soon: The Word Remains by Wilhelm Löhe

Front cover 400pxWe are pleased to announce the publication of The Word Remains: Selected Writings on the Church Year and the Christian Life by Wilhelm Löhe. We expect it to be available in September 2016. For updates on the release date, excerpts, and other information, check out the right sidebar to sign up for email updates and to follow us on Facebook.

From the back cover: Johann Konrad Wilhelm Löhe (1808-1872) was a parish pastor for thirty-five years in the German village of Neuendettelsau. While he was known there as an exceptional preacher, liturgist, teacher, and Seelsorger, his work and influence also extended far beyond his own congregation. Löhe had a keen interest in mission work and was instrumental in sending missionaries to North America and other continents. In addition, his desire to carry out Christian labors of love for those closer to home—caring for the body as well as the soul—led him to found an institute in Neuendettelsau to train deaconesses to perform acts of physical mercy.

This collection of excerpts comes from Löhe’s extensive writing on mission, pastoral theology, history, and liturgy. Originally published in German in 2008, The Word Remains is the English translation of a delightful book that gathers his profound wisdom into one small volume, making it well suited for devotional reading. In these pages, Löhe articulates the confessional Lutheran understanding of the church year, the Word of God, and matters related to the Christian life: faith, prayer, fellowship, worship, creation, and hope. In addition, the biography by Hans Kreßel and the appended essay by John T. Pless give insight into Löhe’s life, the context in which he lived, and his lasting influence.

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One-Week Sale on Bulk Orders of Didache

didache-gridMany of our customers order multiple copies of Didache, whether it be for gifts, a book group, or a Bible Study. Normally, our bulk discounts begin with orders of 20, but for one week — through August 18 — all orders of 5-19 copies of Didache will qualify for a 10% discount, and 20+ copies will qualify for 15% off. To take advantage of this promotion, please contact us with your order details so that we can prepare a customized invoice for you.


Didache seeks to instruct Christians in a basic pattern of catechesis which recognizes that doctrine is drawn from the Holy Scriptures, confessed in Luther’s Small Catechism, and expressed in the hymnal. These are the three books of the Church’s life; they should be known by individual Christians as well. Didache is designed to lead the reader ever deeper into these basic books. It follows the pattern of Luther’s Catechism, beginning with repentance (the Ten Commandments), faith (the Apostles’ Creed), and holy living (the Lord’s Prayer). After this catechetical core come the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, which constitutes Christian existence in the forgiveness of sins; Confession and Absolution, where the believer is returned to the promise of Baptism; and the Sacrament of the Altar, where we receive the benefits of Calvary—Christ’s body and blood—for the forgiveness of our sins. Lastly, the Daily Prayers and Table of Duties show us that the gifts of our Lord draw us not away from the world where we pray and live as His holy people in our various stations of life.

The Holy Scriptures are the Word of the Triune God. His words work through the Law, which exposes and condemns the sinner and leads to repentance, and through the Gospel, which announces and bestows reconciliation with God in the blood of His Son delivered by the Holy Spirit in His means of grace. The Small Catechism and the hymnal (both the liturgical orders and the hymns) are forever echoing the Holy Scriptures. Didache seeks to make this connection more explicit so that students of the Word can more fully appreciate and use all three books throughout their lives.

You can read excerpts here and here and also a review here.

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An Excerpt from Didache

didache-grid“The Catechism confesses that the benefits of faithful eating and drinking in the Sacrament are the ‘forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation’ given us through our Lord’s words. The forgiveness of sins is the primary gift which God bestows in the Supper and is the foundation for life and salvation. Forgiveness of sins is the content of the New Testament. The word ‘testament’ indicates that a death is necessary. The death of the one who makes the testament is necessary for the testament to take effect. Jesus’ death is the energy unleashed in the Lord’s Supper. A testament also indicates heirs and inheritance. In this testament, ‘given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins’ indicates that we are heirs and that the inheritance is the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus’ atoning death as a sacrifice in our place.”

-John T. Pless in Didache

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Regarding our Christmas cards…

Earlier this year, the United States Postal Service made some big changes in their shipping prices. The rates for Priority Mail increased considerably, and discounts that are really important to small businesses like ours were eliminated. So it was time for us to restructure how we sell our Christmas cards. Because of these recent postage changes, we are now selling our cards in sets of 15 and 40. The benefit of this is that you can now choose which design and how many of each card you’d like. A quick Google search of comparable Christmas cards shows that our prices are still among the lowest, which means that you can get unique, high-quality, Christ-centered cards for a very good price. Find more details on our Christmas cards page.

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*Update 8/6: the discontinued cards are now sold out.
The other piece of news is that one of our discontinued designs is now 35% off. Last year, we introduced an updated Nativity card with a new background, but we still have about 200 of the original design remaining (which was, incidentally, President Harrison’s Christmas card for 2011). The artwork (pictured left) is featured on a white background while the inside greeting proclaims, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Gold foil-lined envelopes are included. If you’d like to purchase these discontinued cards, they are available in sets of 15 cards ($14.95) and 40 cards ($32.50). These prices include shipping. Contact us to place your order, and we’ll send you an invoice for payment via Paypal. These are available on a first come, first served basis!

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Four-Day Sale — Save up to 25%

didache-gridAll of our books are on sale (up to 25% off) through Monday, June 13. Browse through our collection of prayer books as well as liturgical and devotional resources by using the Books tab above or via the links below.

*The Brotherhood Prayer Book (and CD) includes services for the day (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vepsers, and Compline), the entire Psalter, daily and seasonal propers, and a Beichtspiegel unique to the BPB.

*Paul H.D. Lang’s Ceremony & Celebration gives a confessional apology for why the Lutheran Church is a liturgical church. It instructs in every aspect of the service, such as liturgical actions, liturgical space, and the Church Year. It explains why we do what we do.

*The Conduct of the Service describes what to do in the chancel, such as where to stand and how to move so that the emphasis remains on Christ and not on the liturgist.

*Prof. John Pless’s Didache uses the Bible, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the hymnal to instruct in a basic pattern of catechesis which expounds upon doctrine, liturgy, and vocation.

*An Explanation of the Common Service is an excellent supplement to Ceremony & Celebration in that it explains the actual words, or the rite, of the Divine Service. Read a recent review here.

*The prayers in Wilhelm Loehe’s Seed Grains of Prayer contain collects for all occasions and are particularly good for personal devotion.

*Starck’s Motherhood Prayers offers comforting prayers for expectant and new mothers.

*Thy Kingdom Come and God With Us by Pr. David Petersen are books of sermons which are invaluable for homiletical ideas and for the devotional use of reading good Law & Gospel sermons. In particular, Thy Kingdom Come offers over sixty sermons spanning Pre-Lent, all forty days of Lent, and the Sundays after Easter.

*What an Altar Guild Should Know gives details about church services, rubrics, altar care, sacred vessels, and other topics related to liturgical worship. However, anyone who is interested in liturgical worship will appreciate Lang’s keen theological insight into why reverence and beauty and the externals of worship matter.

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Six Chief Parts Banner

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Some very talented members of Calvary Lutheran Church in Elgin, Illnois, have turned our Six Chief Parts artwork into a confirmation banner for their church. Thank you for sharing the pictures with us! It looks beautiful and is packed full of theological symbolism.

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General Rules of Ceremony: The Fourth Principle

And now for the last principle of the general rules of ceremony, as outlined by Paul H.D. Lang in Ceremony and Celebration. In this book, Lang discusses how the confessional Lutheran position on ceremony is based on both tradition and the Holy Scriptures.

“The fourth principle is humility. We are exhorted, not only to be humble before God: ‘Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God’ (1 Peter 5:6), but also to be humble in our relationship with our fellow Christians: ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another’ (Rom. 12:10). The rule governing the ceremony of kneeling for the confession of sins, for example, is based on this law. So also are the rules pertaining to the ceremonies of showing respect to one another, of honoring a person’s position and office, and of the place of rank in a seating arrangement and procession.” (p. 62)

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General Rules of Ceremony: The Third Principle

In the two previous posts, we described the first and second principles of the general rules of ceremony as outlined by Paul Lang in Ceremony and Celebration. In this book, Lang discusses how the confessional Lutheran position on ceremony is based on both tradition and the Holy Scriptures.

candc-gridNow, the third: “The law of order is another basis for rules of ceremony. This law is expressed in the Word of God, ‘Let everything be done decently and in order’ (1 Cor. 14:40). God is a God of order. He is against disorder, confusion, slovenliness, crudeness, and ugliness. If that is true in every area of our lives, it is particularly true when God is present with us in a special way in the church’s worship. The Old Testament worship which God prescribed was, in every detail of the tabernacle and temple, the sacred vessels and vestments, the rites and ceremonies of the services, orderly and beautiful. We have no such detailed prescriptions in the New Testament, but the principle remains. The rules governing the traditional ceremonies are based on the law of order.” (p. 62)

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General Rules of Ceremony: The Second Principle

In the post just before this one, we described the first principle of the general rules of ceremony as outlined by Paul Lang in Ceremony and Celebration. In this book, Lang discusses how the confessional Lutheran position on ceremony is based on both tradition and the Holy Scriptures.

Continuing on to the second: “The next principle is love. God’s law demands that we love Him above all things and our neighbors as ourselves. But again, our Christian obedience flows not from the Law but the Gospel. ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another’ (1 John 4:10-11). We show our love to God and to our fellow worshipers in many ceremonies. The rule for these ceremonies is the law of love.” (p. 61)

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General Rules of Ceremony: The First Principle


In Ceremony and Celebration, Paul H.D. Lang discusses a broad spectrum of topics relating to Lutheran liturgical worship. In Chapter 9, he shows how the confessional Lutheran position on ceremony is based on both tradition and the Holy Scriptures. (For definitions of ritual and ceremonial, read this excerpt.) Lang identifies four general rules of ceremony, which we will be posting over the next several days. The first of these is the principle of reverence.

“Many rules of ceremony are governed by the principle of reverence. God demands reverence. We owe Him reverence. We owe it to Him, not only as an inner attitude, but also as an outward expression….We Christians show reverence to God because the Holy Spirit prompts and enables us to do the will of God in response to His grace and blessings. ‘Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear’ (Heb. 12:28). In the church’s worship we meet with God who has called us into His kingdom. Therefore we express our reverence toward Him, His Word, His sacraments, and all persons and things connected with our worship of Him.”   (p. 61)

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