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.

Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on Four-Day Sale — Save up to 25%

Six Chief Parts Banner

Banner[3]    IMG_1649

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.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged | Comments Off on Six Chief Parts Banner

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)

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on General Rules of Ceremony: The Fourth Principle

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)

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on General Rules of Ceremony: The Third Principle

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)

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on General Rules of Ceremony: The Second Principle

General Rules of Ceremony: The First Principle

candc-grid

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)

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on General Rules of Ceremony: The First Principle

Looking for a Confirmation Gift?

Six Chief Parts FB

Our Six Chief Parts artwork (left), created by Lutheran artist Edward Riojas, features the six chief parts of The Small Catechism in a cruciform shape. It is available as a greeting card or as an 8″ x 10″ print, ready for framing.

The following description of the symbolism is printed on the back of each card and is provided in sticker form with each print for affixing to the back of the frame:

Symbols for each of the six chief parts are arranged in a cruciform shape: tablets of the Law represent the Ten Commandments; chalice and host, the Lord’s Supper; scallop shell with three water drops, Holy Baptism; thurible with incense rising to heaven, the Lord’s Prayer; and crossed keys, the Office of the Keys. Central to all is a triangle interwoven with a circle, symbolizing the Holy Trinity confessed in the Apostle’s Creed. These symbols are charged on a red Latin cross pointing to Christ’s all-atoning sacrifice, which in turn gives life and produces fruit in the life of the Church and her saints.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on Looking for a Confirmation Gift?

What an Altar Guild Should Know: Not Just for the Altar Guild

Cover-WaAGSK-Front Cover-small

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 (and also Lang’s Ceremony and Celebration).

Beautifying worship: “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)

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)

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on What an Altar Guild Should Know: Not Just for the Altar Guild

Scratch & Dent Sale

It’s time for another Scratch & Dent sale! We have several books with minor cosmetic flaws that we’ve offering at 25% off (plus the standard shipping rate, found here). Flaws include a slight fold or scratch on the cover, dented spine or corner, or a slight discoloration on the cover. These dents are simply cosmetic and don’t affect the inside material whatsoever.

Contact us with your mailing address if you are interested in purchasing any of these books. We’ll then email you a customized Paypal invoice with payment required in 24 hours. But hurry – we expect them to go quickly!

Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on Scratch & Dent Sale

An Excerpt from Ceremony and Celebration

candc-grid

“Communication is not limited to language. We express ourselves to others and we receive impressions from others and from God through signs and symbols. These communications by signs and symbols are often more effective than those of language. While this is true in ordinary life, it is particularly true in the church’s worship. The things communicated there have to do with the mysteries of our holy faith. These deep mysteries cannot, of course, be communicated so as to be understood fully or else they would no longer be mysteries. But signs and symbols often communicate the realities of the mysteries better than language.”    (p. 64)

Ceremony and Celebration is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to better understand why we do what we do in the Divine Service. Understanding what is going on around us increases our appreciation for and insight into the details of the liturgy. Find more excerpts here, here, and here.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on An Excerpt from Ceremony and Celebration