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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Save on EVERYTHING during our 4-day Advent sale!

Looking for Christmas cards, Christmas gifts, or a little something for yourself? Starting today, which happens to be Small Business Saturday, everything is on sale! Prices are valid through Tuesday, November 30. Browse our selection of titles using the Books tab above.

A few highlights:

*Share the joy of Christ’s birth with your family and friends with our stunning Christmas cards. Each one pairs beautiful artwork with the words of Scripture or the timeless poetry of hymns. One of our newest cards, “Messiah,” is pictured here.

*God With Us by David H. Petersen is a collection of brief sermons that are perfect for personal devotion. Pr. Petersen explains how Christ’s incarnation is the basis of all Christian preaching and the essence of every celebration of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, every proclamation of Absolution to repentant sinners.

*The Great Works of God: The Mysteries of Christ in the Book of Exodus contains more than 120 Christocentric, devotional meditations in which 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.

*Wherever you fall on the spectrum of Latin — a scholar, a teacher or student of classical education, or a novice — you will find Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church to be an absolute treasure. Liber Hymnorum is two hymnals in one, the first half being English, the second Latin, exactly mirroring the first half in content and numbering.

*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.

*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.

A blessed Advent to you!

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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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The Word Remains: Festival of the Reformation

“The Reformation, my friends, what was it? We know what the Church looked like before it, but what was it really? Judge whether this is true. I say, it was a time when the Lord went into His temple, braided a whip of cords, and cleansed His courts.

“Yes, the Reformation was a cleansing of the temple. Or is that not so? Where now do we have all that indulgence nonsense, masses for the dead, sacrifices of the mass, works-righteousness, and all the endless supply of worthless trinkets? That whole business was overthrown and swept out. The Word of the Lord drove into it like a punishing whip and put an end to the spiritual torment, the heavy yoke laid on by men and yet not humanly possible, but unbearable. The Word of the Lord burst in and overturned the chaos of self-interest, the marketplace of self- and works-righteousness. And the one who remained in the temple was the Lord with His apostles and disciples, with His sweet Gospel.”

-an excerpt from The Word Remains: Selected Writings on the Church Year and the Christian Life by Wilhelm Löhe (pp. 36-37)

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Seed-Grains of Prayer: Prayer for our Pastors

“Everlasting, gracious, heavenly Father, for my pastor I pray; grant him to speak Thy word with joy, fearlessly against every error, false doctrine, and abuse; that he may declare and make plain to us the mysteries of the Gospel, and remove from our hearts all delusions. Keep him steadfast in the true doctrine and Christian life, that he may be unto us a leader unto everlasting life.  Guard his body against sickness, that to our great benefit, he may for a long time go before us and preach Thy divine word without fear or hesitation, without hypocrisy, not of favor, hatred, jealousy, or for self-advantage, but proclaim the truth in all its purity and fullness, and denounce evils as becometh them, that I and many more may be won for Thy kingdom.

“Open my heart and ears that I may listen to Thy word with desire and love, with reverent mind, and hearty attention; to walk in accordance thereto in true faith, and bring fruit unto Thy divine glory. Save me from becoming tired of hearing and from slothfulness of soul; and instill in my mind a great hunger and earnest desire for the inestimable riches of Thy grace, which is tendered to us in the sermon. Grant me grace to know and esteem my pastor as a servant and steward of the divine mysteries, that I receive Thy word from him without offence, unto the bettering of my life, the abhorrence of sin; and not let correction pass me by unheeded, nor, that I offend, or despise him by whom the correction cometh. Preserve us all in the true faith and a Christian life, that we may daily grow and increase therein, remaining steadfast unto our end, and be eternally saved; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Wilhelm Loehe, Seed-Grains of Prayer, #330.

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All Christmas cards are back in stock!

Share the good news of our Savior’s birth with Christmas cards that combine stunning imagery with words of Scripture and beloved hymns. This year we offer two new cards, bringing the total to twelve.

The first card, Messiah, features an acrylic painting on canvas by Meghan Schultz, a Lutheran artist with whom we often collaborate (see biography below). The three-rayed nimbus around the Christ Child’s head represents His deity. Swaddling cloths weave through a crown of thorns and a king’s crown, confessing that Jesus was born to die that we may live, and He reigns eternally as King. Ever with an eye to symbolism, Meghan notes that the dark blue hues around the manger below transform to purple above to signify royalty. Well-known words from Handel’s Messiah echo the meaningful imagery of the art on the cover while the inside text proclaims, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

The second card, 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.

Note: Each year we mail thousands of Christmas cards across the U.S. and abroad. When we sell out of a particular design, sometimes there is time to print more, sometimes not. Order your custom assortment of Christmas cards today to secure your selection.

*Meghan Schultz’s background is in graphic design and advertising with a special interest in fine art and calligraphy. In the past few years she has completed countless freelance projects for churches, schools, and Christian organizations and has created a body of liturgical artwork which can be found in her Etsy shop (redletterartdesign.etsy.com). Meghan hopes that her artwork serves as a tool for Christians in centering their life around the Church Year as they serve their neighbor through their vocations. She is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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Available soon: Liber Hymnorum

We are pleased to announce that Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church is currently in the process of being reprinted. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of Latin — a scholar, a teacher or student of classical education, or a novice — you will find Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church to be an absolute treasure. It is two hymnals in one, the first half being English, the second Latin, exactly mirroring the first half in contents and numbering.

As author, editor, and translator Matthew Carver explains: “This book is a collection of hymns taken exclusively from Lutheran hymnals and chant-books of the Reformation and post-Reformation era. Specifically, it contains the old medieval Latin hymns which Lutheran churches in various parts of Germany still sang at morning and evening prayer (especially in urban areas with Latin schools) with the original Gregorian chant melodies that they used, here with Gregorian melodies with the Latin, and modern notation with the English. It also includes some other ancient hymns sung at the beginning of the Divine Service as well as some Latin carols. Basically, anything I found in old Lutheran hymnals that was (a) in Latin, (b) set to music, and (c) designated to be sung in church, I included.

“Each half is arranged in the form of a church hymnal such as might be used for morning and evening prayers, with the hymns keyed to different times of day (evening, night, early morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon), the days of the week, the seasons of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, etc.), and Christian festivals of apostles and saints, some more generalized, some for specific saints. After this come the ancient Divine Service hymns for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. These are further augmented by Benedicamus hymns (for the end of the prayer services) and the medieval Latin carols, many of which are familiar to us.”

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Christmas in July! Save 15% on Christmas cards

*New on 7/26: Also save 10% on all books through the end of the month! Browse our selection of titles using the Books tab above.

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

The card pictured at left, “Savior,” 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).

Visit our Christmas cards page to see all 11 designs, all unique to Emmanuel Press.

 

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Now Available: The Brotherhood Prayer Book, paperback edition

We are pleased to offer a new paperback version of The Brotherhood Prayer Book, Second Revised Edition. After recently selling the last of the popular hardcover BPB, we decided to pursue a black-and-white version that is available at a lower cost and to a larger audience. Not only can you purchase the book on our website, but it is also available on Amazon for both Kindle and as a paperback, which means that international customers can now order from their own country’s Amazon website and save on shipping. This is excellent news since we have customers from almost every continent who have purchased or inquired about this prayer book.

While the cover material and appearance may have changed, the interior content remains the same, with the exception that all text that appeared in red (in the hardcover) is now gray. Find more details about the book here, including a PDF sample of the contents and a free download of the Beichtspiegel unique to The Brotherhood Prayer Book.

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Two-Day Pre-Lent Sale – up to 30% off

Select books are up to 30% off today (2/15) and tomorrow (2/16).

*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.

*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.”

*Thy Kingdom Come by Pr. David Petersen offers daily sermons beginning on Ash Wednesday, continuing during Lent, and through the Sundays in Easter up to Pentecost. This book is invaluable for homiletical ideas and for the devotional reading of excellent 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.

Apostolic Agenda is a Lutheran Orthodox commentary on Titus and Philemon, the first of its kind in English.

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