Pre-Advent Sale on The Brotherhood Prayer Book + Free Beichtspiegel Download

From now through November 27, The Brotherhood Prayer Book and its accompanying CD are on sale. The Brotherhood Prayer Book includes services for the day (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vepsers, and Compline), the entire Psalter, daily and seasonal propers, and a Beichtspiegel.

A Beichtspiegel (confession mirror) is a tool used for reflection and self-examination in preparation for private confession and absolution or for the general confession and absolution in the Divine Service. The Beichtspiegel offered free in our Downloads tab is published in The Brotherhood Prayer Book. The text was compiled in 2003 by Rev. Michael Frese and Dr. Benjamin Mayes, using resources from confessional pastors in both the LCMS and the SELK in Germany.

The season of Advent is a particular time of preparation for Christians. In baptism, our Lord Jesus Christ began in us a living faith, and we return to its promise every time we confess our sins and receive forgiveness. Thus, the purpose of a Beichtspiegel is to help us reflect upon our individual sins and lead us to the soothing balm of the absolution. True repentance is both sorrow over sin and faith in Christ’s forgiveness.

A Beichtspiegel helps us to consider our sins according to the Ten Commandments. It is forgiveness that we Christians seek, not a perfect and exhaustive confession, yet it is salutary to be able to better understand and articulate in what ways and how often we sin. Examining ourselves is not merely for the purpose of causing shame over our wretched sinfulness, but to focus us on the only source of comfort: Jesus.

As stated in the introduction to the Beichtspiegel:

The Small Catechism urges us to consider our place in life according to the Ten Commandments. The Commandments act as a mirror to reflect our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. This honest reflection, on account of God’s holy Word working in us, will bear the fruit of repentance. In private confession and absolution we repent before our pastor of those sins which we know and feel in our heart, and he, in turn, grants us Christ’s forgiveness individually.

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Three days: Get a signed copy of God With Us

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Starting today and ending Friday, November 20, all purchases of God With Us by David H. Petersen will be signed by the author. With Advent just 11 days away, now is the time to pick up a copy just in time for the start of the season.

Many customers tell us that they’ve given God With Us in bulk to family members and friends, since these 59 brief sermons serve well for daily devotions. As Pr. Larry Beane writes, “This book is a treasure trove for private or family devotions, as well as a solid source of homiletical material for daily chapel or Divine Services.  If you are looking for some additional spiritual refreshment this Advent through Epiphany seasons, this is a perfect combination of brevity and potency, of meditation and instruction, but most of all, of our Lord Jesus Christ who has come to save us from our sins!”

Read the reviews, learn how we developed the lectionary for this book, take a look at the Table of Contents and Scripture Index, and find excerpts throughout the site. Better yet, sign up for occasional emails on the right sidebar or follow us on Facebook, where we post more frequent excerpts.

*Be sure to peruse our Christmas cards while you’re here. Reasonably priced, unique, gorgeous artwork…combined with a clear confession of our Savior’s birth.

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Our new Christmas cards are now available!

This year we collaborated with local artist Meghan Schultz to create three beautiful new designs. Meghan’s background is in graphic design and advertising with a special interest in fine art and calligraphy.  While busy as a homeschooling mother, she finds time to pursue art as a personal hobby and also to create liturgical artwork for her home congregation, Redeemer Lutheran Church – Fort Wayne. Meghan recently designed a coat of arms for Redeemer, which was then rendered in hand-carved wood, and she’s currently working on several custom projects.

Magnificat 600pxWorking with such a versatile artist led to some unique details in “Magnificat” (left). We paired the depiction of Mary and Jesus (from “The Virgin of the Lilies” by 19th-century artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau) with hand-lettered words from the Song of Mary. We also added hand-drawn fleur-de-lis in the corners as a nod to Bouguereau’s French heritage and the lilies in his original piece, symbolic of Mary. The text inside features a verse from the beloved hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” A Child is Born cover final-600 (1)

The illuminated artwork for “A Child is Born” (right) is from a 14th-century choir book from a monastery in Italy. The words on the manuscript in Latin are from Isaiah 9:6, which is also quoted in the inside greeting: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…” You can view the inside text in its entirety on our Christmas cards page.

Finally, we decided to redesign one of the very first Christmas cards that we introduced back in 2011. The artwork for “Nativity” (below) is a fresco from the Imperial Cathedral in Speyer, Germany, painted in the Nativity cover final-600pxmid-1800s. The city of Speyer is significant to Reformation history, which you can read about here. This year, we updated this card to give it a beautiful linen-textured background and words proclaiming Christ’s birth.

Visit our Christmas cards page to have a closer look at the covers and view the inside greetings. If you send out a lot of Christmas cards or want to stock up for future years, take advantage of our bulk discount, which begins with orders of 15 sets. Contact us for more details before placing your order so that we can create a customized invoice.

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Coming soon: New Christmas Cards for 2015

More details very soon….Subscribe to our email updates or like us on Facebook (see the right sidebar) for the latest news! In the meantime, visit our Christmas Cards page to see our current selection.

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Oktoberfest Sale — All Books up to 20% off

didache-gridAll books are on sale (up to 20% off) through Monday, October 12. 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.

*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.

*Starck’s Prayer Book and the related Starck’s Motherhood Prayers offer daily prayers, hymns, poetry, and devotions.

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

*What an Altar Guild Should Know, another gem by Rev. Lang, expounds upon vestments and the sacred vessels and how to take care of them.

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A Hymn for St. Michael and All Angels’ Day

Thee, O Christ, the Father’s splendor,
Life and virtue of the heart,
In the presence of the angels
Sing we now with tuneful art,
Mostly in alternate chorus
Bearing our responsive part.

Thus we praise with due thanksgiving
All the armies of the sky;
Chiefly him, the warrior primate,
Of celestial chivalry,
Michael, who in princely virtue
Cast Abaddon from on high.

By whose watchful care repelling —
King of everlasting grace–
Every ghostly adversary,
All things evil, all things base,
Grant us of Thine only goodness
In Thy paradise a place.

Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One,
Consubstantial, coeternal,
While unending ages run. Amen.


Tibi, Christe, splendor Patris, Rabanus Maurus, 9th cent., trans. by J.M. Neale
As found in The Brotherhood Prayer Book

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Ritual and Ceremonial: Lex Orandi Lex Credendi

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“Ritual and ceremonial are component parts of the liturgy. They are materials of the liturgy, the things involved in doing the liturgy….Ritual refers to that part of a divine service which consists of its words, that is, the rite or the order of service….Ceremonial is everything connected with the performance of a rite. It refers not only to bodily expressions, such as speaking, singing, kneeling, bowing, making the sign of the cross, and the outward observance of the church year, but also to the ornaments, symbols, and material objects employed in the church’s worship, for example, the church building, the altar, crucifixes, candles, and vestments. Ceremonies are solemn religious things and actions….Rites and ceremonies are an outward expression of what a church believes and teaches. An ancient Latin formula puts it this way: Lex orandi lex credendi. ‘As we worship so we believe’ or ‘as we believe so we worship.'”

Paul H. D. Lang, Ceremony and Celebration, p. 6, 11.

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NEW: Psalm 23 Greeting Card

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Browsing the internet and various bookstores, it can be difficult to find greeting cards with substance and a clear Christian confession. Our conversations with friends and customers helped us to realize that we were not the only ones facing this dilemma. So, five years ago, we at Emmanuel Press began offering ecclesiastical greeting cards as an alternative to the usual fluff of mediocre art and cliché sayings.

Our newest card, Psalm 23 (left), is the first in a planned series of greeting cards combining sacred artwork with the prayerful, comforting words of the Psalms. This particular stained glass is located behind the altar at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It depicts Jesus, our Good Shepherd, in vibrant stained glass on a light gray background. Psalm 23 is printed on the inside left side, leaving the right side blank for personal correspondence for any occasion. Visit the Psalm 23 page to have a closer look at the artwork and to see the inside text.

We are always on the lookout for beautiful sacred artwork! If you know of stained glass or have other artwork or card ideas to share, please contact us.

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Seed Grains of Prayer: Prayer for Cleansing of the Soul


“Righteous God, turn my desire and thoughts, that I may fear and serve Thee in love with all my soul. Sanctify me wholly, and turn away from me all that is not purely Thine. So sink my life in Thyself that my will may ever yield to Thine, to be governed by Thee; for neither mine own nor the help of any creature can give me counsel. Grant that I neither fall into nor remain in sin. Quench my thirst for things temporal. Uproot in me all self-love and selfishness. Banish evil passions and covetous desires. Destroy all lusting and cleaving unto the things of this world. Gather my soul unto Thee, and retain in me a pure and peaceful conscience unto my latest breath. Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and majesty be unto thee, O God, forevermore. Amen.”

Wilhelm Loehe, Seed Grains of Prayer, #200

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Christmas in July Sale — 40% off!

Impress your inner procrastinator by taking advantage of our fantastic Christmas in July sale! All Christmas cards are 40% off through Friday, July 31. This is likely the only discount we’ll be offering on Christmas cards for the rest of the year.

Our unique cards feature artwork from renowned artists Edward Riojas and Kelly Klages, stained glass from a local Lutheran church, a Russian Orthodox triptych, and frescos from the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, Germany. Can’t decide? Then have a look at our Card Assortment, which includes 2 of each design.

Visit our Christmas cards page, where you’ll find more information about each card. Shop early, save money, and send out cards that combine beautiful art with a clear confession of our Savior’s birth.

And while you’re perusing the Christmas cards, be sure to take a look at our other ecclesiastical greeting cards. We offer a variety of cards, blank as well as those for baptism/baptism birthdays, Easter, confirmation/first communion (Six Chief Parts), and the Office of the Holy Ministry. 

Illumination    The Holy Family    NativityChrist the Lord-Web-600px

Virgin and Child    Adoremus      Epiphany Nativity Triptych-FB-cropped-600px

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