Christmas in July! Save up to 20% on EVERYTHING

Updated on 7/26/22: All books are now on sale through the end of the month! Browse using the tabs above.

It’s time for our annual Christmas in July sale! Save 15% on Christmas cards through Sunday, July 31.

The card pictured at right, “Glory to God,” depicts an oil on canvas painting, “Seeing Shepherds” by Daniel Bonnell. The inside text echoes the cover with a stanza from “O Come, All Ye Faithful”:

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God in the highest; O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

As Mr. Bonnell explains, “This is the nativity from the perspective of the viewer. The viewer becomes one of the shepherds as you witness an army of angles leading to the nativity.” The angels appear to the humble shepherds standing among their herd of sheep, filling the sky with brilliant light and pointing to the manger in Bethlehem.

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How can Liber Hymnorum be used in a classical education or homeschool setting?

*Pre-order the next printing and save 10%*

“It is particularly with classical Latin teachers and homeschoolers in mind that the Latin (with normalized spelling) has been included, though it will also be of interest to scholars as well. The Church’s Latin, especially as found in its best hymnody in addition to the Latin psalter, is an important part of a well-rounded Latin course, since it gives students a sound example of a medieval Latin embraced by every age of the Latin-speaking church and filled with Christian content. The effort to sing a few stanzas every day will reward any student with improved familiarity with Latin poetry, and the melodies will serve as a mnemonic device, making the texts easier to learn by heart. Older students can also find in the Latin hymns models for their own composition practice. The Gregorian notation, too, with its modes and clefs, is an important part of music history. Nevertheless, the modern notation provided in the English section can be used to play and teach the Latin hymns.”
-Matthew Carver: Author, editor, and translator

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Liber Hymnorum will be a powerful resource in our house. As a liturgical Lutheran, I am thankful to have another devotional tool, especially one with simple, beautiful melodies and meaningful text. I am humbled and pleased that this hymnal can emphasize our continuity of faith over generations and centuries!…This will be a great resource for liturgical Lutherans, families, catechizers, homeschoolers, Latin students, and anyone interested in history, theology, Lutheranism, or the Reformation.”
-An excerpt from the forthcoming review by Deaconess Mary J. Moerbe, homeschooling mother of six, Lutheran author and speaker, who encourages Lutheran writing at maryjmoerbe.com

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New Look: Ceremony and Celebration

While the content remains the same, Ceremony and Celebration has a new cover of red faux leather embossed with a gold leaf in lay. We’re very pleased with the quality of the materials and printing, and we know that our customers will love the smooth finish and stunning colors.

“Our attitude toward human rites and ceremonies is evangelical, not legalistic. Rubrics and directions do not proceed from the Law but from the Gospel. We do not want conformity on the basis of legal compunction, but on the basis of our new life in Jesus Christ by which we are made free from the curse of the Law and are enabled by the Holy Spirit to live more and more in Christian love and liberty.” (p. 22)

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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)

**This book is finishing up the process of being reprinted and will be available on Monday, April 25. Pre-order now to save 10% and be among the first to receive a copy from the new print run.

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Available soon: Ceremony and Celebration

We are pleased to announce that Ceremony and Celebration is finishing up the process of being reprinted and will be available on Monday, April 25. Pre-order now to save 10% and be among the first to receive a copy from the new print run.

As noted in the Preface to Ceremony and Celebration, there is “a pious desire of both pastors and parishioners to be reverent in worship. That is the genius of this little book: It speaks to all participants in the Divine Service, not just pastors and theologians.” The Divine Service is where Christians gather around Word and Sacrament. Its liturgy provides the structure for keeping Christ as the central focus. The words, music, actions, and physical elements of the Divine Service all play a role in the liturgy. Pastors and parishioners join together to receive God’s gifts, each playing a distinct yet integral part as defined by the liturgy, in accordance with God’s will (Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor. 14:40).

Ceremony and Celebration is an essential resource not only for pastors, elders, altar guild members, organists, choir directors, and other congregational leaders, but also and especially for earnest laity who want to better understand the way we worship. Understanding what is going on around us increases our appreciation for and insight into the details of the liturgy.

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Didache is back in stock!

A burst of orders several months ago caused Didache to suddenly sell out. We are pleased to announce that (after patiently waiting during these ubiquitous delays and shortages) it is back in stock! Find more details here.

“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, a book that instructs 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. Suitable for group or individual study.

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The Advent Wreath: An Excerpt

“The lighting of an Advent wreath during the Advent season is a Christian ceremony which has come down to us from about the time of Martin Luther. As before the birth of Christ the light of prophecy concerning His advent and His redemptive work became brighter and brighter, so the nearer we come in the church year to the feast of His nativity, the greater the amount of light from the Advent wreath. This ceremony is helpful for recalling, discussing, and teaching the significance of Advent.”

-An excerpt from Ceremony and Celebration, in which Rev. Paul H.D. Lang describes the theological significance and historic, confessional Lutheran position on liturgy, ritual, and ceremony.

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