Gottesdienst Crowd discusses The Brotherhood Prayer Book

Why pray the Psalms, and why should they form the center of the Christian’s life of prayer? Why use Gregorian chant and how do you learn it? Why have a book for prayer at all? Join Pr. Jason Braaten (of Gottesdienst: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy) and Pr. Michael Frese (of Redeemer Lutheran Church-Fort Wayne and Emmanuel Press) in this podcast which answers these questions and also discusses what led to the creation of The Brotherhood Prayer Book.

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Christmas Cards that Focus on Christ

No generic winter scenes or Santa’s overflowing bag of toys for us – all else pales in comparison to God incarnate in the manger, born to die for the sins of the world. Gloria in excelsis Deo (below) features a colorful stained glass with 1 John 4:10 inscribed inside: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Puer Natus (left) is a 16th-century illuminated manuscript from a Latin Divine Service book in Italy. The inside text is Isaiah 9:6, which also appears on the cover: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

As you’ll read on our Christmas cards page, you can create a custom assortment of Christmas cards, whether it is one design or a mixture of all eleven. Choose from a variety of styles, including stained glass, illumination, triptych, classic art, and original commissioned pieces.

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The Word Remains: All Saints’ Day

“Therefore, take comfort: it is not all over for those who have fallen asleep in the Lord! They are merely sleeping. He who by His own death-sleep in the grave sanctified our graves as mere bedrooms stands even now at the deathbed, calling, ‘Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden!’ And when He lays them in the dust of death, He says, ‘I will give you rest!’ and ‘Here you will find rest.’ And if death is sleep, then each of the dead has the hope of resurrection.”

-an excerpt from The Word Remains: Selected Writings on the Church Year and the Christian Life by Wilhelm Löhe

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Introducing…New Christ-centered Christmas cards

We are pleased to introduce two new Christmas cards this year! This brings the total to 11 designs exclusive to Emmanuel Press.

The first card, Savior (right), shows the infant Christ standing on the lap of the Virgin Mary, who gently receives her child’s embrace. We see St. Joseph through the archway. This 17th-century painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato is a tender portrayal of the bond between mother and son. Yet this Son is the Savior of the world, as is echoed in the inside greeting: “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

The second card, Nativity Triptych (below), is an update of a previous design, now featuring a festive but subtly textured background. This beautiful nativity scene comes from a Russian triptych in our own collection. A triptych is divided into three panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. The angels in the side panels are identified in Russian as Michael and Gabriel, while the text in the middle declares “the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (There is a note on the back of the card with this translation.) The greeting inside proclaims, “Glory to the newborn King!” which comes from the refrain of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Visit our Christmas card page to create a custom assortment of Christmas cards. Choose from a variety of styles, including stained glass, illumination, triptych, classic art, and original commissioned pieces.

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Not Just for the Altar Guild

“The service which the altar guild can render is valuable as an aid to extol the beauty and greatness of God and to awaken the response of His people in all forms of beauty, care, and reverence. Beauty in the church is not a matter of indifference….Why do we want to make the house of God and our worship of God as reverent and beautiful as possible? Such a desire is of God and for God. He is present in our churches. Through His Word and sacraments, Christ comes to us as we are gathered together in His name.” (p. 11)

In What an Altar Guild Should Know, Paul H.D. Lang gives detailed information about church services and rubrics, liturgical terms, everything related to the altar, sacred vessels and linens, paraments, and other topics related to liturgical worship.

However, this is not just a How To manual for altar guild members and their pastors. Lang offers keen theological insight into why reverence and beauty and the externals of worship matter. Anyone interested in liturgical worship would benefit from reading this book (especially in conjunction with Ceremony and Celebration) In addition, we have switched to a Wire O binding so that it can now lay flat.

Preparing a setting for the Gospel: “By making God’s house and the services of the church more beautiful, we provide the Gospel a setting in which it is more attractive to people and puts them in a more receptive frame of mind for worship….Of course, God’s Word and sacraments are not dependent on human embellishment for effectiveness. They are in themselves ‘the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth’ (Rom. 1:16). It is only fitting, however, that we should present them in surroundings that are as attractive as we can make them.” (p. 11-12)

Externals not essential, but important: “God has not given Christians of the New Testament era specific laws governing the outward forms of worship. Christianity is not essentially a matter of externals but of faith and life….Where the Word of God is rightly taught and the sacraments are rightly administered, there is the Christian church….Nonetheless, externals are invariably associated with Christian worship. Therefore they are important. Christian doctrine, faith, and life are never merely theoretical, barren, or lifeless. They express themselves in outward acts.” (p. 12-13)

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God With Us: Daily readings for Advent

Cover-God With Us-new cover website

God With Us by Pr. David H. Petersen contains fifty-nine sermons spanning Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, including daily sermons for all of Advent. Many customers tell us that they’ve given God With Us to family and friends since these brief sermons serve well for daily devotions.

Excerpts: “How might we keep the Law and love one another without fail, without holding back? Setting our will to do it or making promises and resolutions has never worked before, and it won’t work now. How might we keep the Law which we’ve never yet kept before? By putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is it. It is the only way. It is in being loved, being forgiven, being fed the Holy Supper that not only is sin forgiven but faith is also strengthened. In that—those things that God has given for His Church, for her faith and life—the Holy Spirit takes up residence and works do follow. The only way for sinners like us to keep the Law is to have the Law kept for us.”

“The boys [of Bethlehem] gave up their lives while the fullness of God hidden in Mary’s babe slipped off in the night. What kind of a God is this who lets the babies die? What kind of a reward is this for David’s city? Where is the peace pronounced by angels to the shepherds in Bethlehem’s fields? Where is God’s good will toward men? The answer is not very satisfying to our intellect: the ways of God are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. But it is satisfying to faith. And if you think that you have plumbed those depths, that you understand Him, that His ways and thoughts make sense, then you have committed idolatry. You are worshiping a figment of your imagination which you call God but who looks and thinks like you. Repent. He is not fully comprehensible and we cannot judge Him. We have no right to make demands or to insist on what seems just to us. We submit in faith and wait for His goodness to be revealed.”

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A review from Pr. Todd Peperkorn: “Both exhausting and liberating”

“The book in many ways is both exhausting and liberating. It is exhausting, because of the vulnerability and courage shown by these women. They each have their own voice. They each have their own crosses to bear. Yet somehow, through it all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ shines through. They tell the story of the God who is ever present with His people, who walks with them through the valley of the shadow of death, and who never leaves their side, no matter what the trial. It doesn’t matter if they are talking about the burden of disease or death, single-hood or dementia, they share this language of faith in a way that I did not expect.

“But vulnerability is exhausting. It lets other people into your life. It gives them a place at your table, and you at theirs. It’s why true vulnerability is so rare. It is easy to have a strange kind of pride in suffering and sorrow. LOOK AT ME, we might be saying. But that’s not the voices of these authors. They see their own weaknesses and fears. They see how Satan has tried to sift through them. But more importantly, they see what it means to be one in the body of Christ, in communion with God and with each other. It is a rare treat. I feel like I’ve had a peek into an important family conversation, and I am all the more blessed for it.

“What I like the most about these essays is that they hit the challenges head on. They don’t sugar coat. They don’t turn the Gospel into the over sweet saccharine of the false hope of our age. Real sin demands a real savior, who really died, and really rose again from the dead….”

Read the entire review here. Find excerpts, author interviews, and purchase information for He Restores My Soul.

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Christmas in July! Save on Christmas Cards AND Books

It’s time for our annual Christmas in July sale! This year, in addition to Christmas cards being 15% off, all of our books are also 10% off through Friday, July 31.

The card pictured at left, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” features a colorful stained glass with 1 John 4:10 inscribed inside: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Visit our Christmas cards page to see all 10 designs, all unique to Emmanuel Press.

Hover over the Books tab above for a complete listing of our titles. Below are brief descriptions of each:
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*Our newest title, Apostolic Agenda, is a Lutheran Orthodox commentary on Titus and Philemon, the first of its kind in English.

*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. Many pastors find it to be a helpful guide for Bible Class, while other customers use it for individual or group study.

*The Great Works of God: The Mysteries of Christ in the Book of Exodus contains more than 120 Christocentric, devotional meditations, Valerius Herberger shows his fervent belief that Jesus Christ is the center of every part of Scripture. Matthew Carver’s translation of this work is outstanding.

*He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann offers comfort not only to those who struggle with the painful experience of barrenness, but also to anyone who knows the grief and shame of suffering. It is a valuable resource for family members, friends, pastors, or anyone seeking to better understand and empathize with the barren experience of a loved one.

*He Restores My Soul, also by Katie Schuermann, is a collection of 14 chapters by 12 authors, giving the reader “a glimpse into some of the many ways suffering can and does manifest itself in our lives while providing a lens through which the Christian sees suffering and responds to it; namely through the cross of Christ.”

*Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church is a collection of hymns taken exclusively from Lutheran hymnals and chant-books of the Reformation and post-Reformation era. It is two hymnals in one, the first half being English, the second Latin, exactly mirroring the first half in contents and numbering.

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

*Thy Kingdom Come and God With Us by Pr. David Petersen offer daily sermons for Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas. These books are invaluable for homiletical ideas and for the devotional reading of good Law & Gospel sermons.

*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.

*In The Word RemainsWilhelm Löhe gives insight into the confessional Lutheran understanding of the church year, the Word of God, and matters related to the Christian life.

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