Now Available: Resurrection Greeting Card

We recently collaborated with Issues, Etc. to design a brand-new greeting card for Eastertide, and we are pleased to offer it here on our website, too. Visit the page for our new Resurrection card for details about the artwork, the inside text, and purchase information.

Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on Now Available: Resurrection Greeting Card

The Word Remains: Regarding Nature

“The world is beautiful. I’ve said that to myself a thousand times as I walk through the greening meadows in the spring and listen to the song of the lark. But we Christians must be mindful not to speak of the beauty of nature with such expression, with such rapture, as if indifferent to the obvious groaning and sighing all around, of which our text speaks (Rom. 8:18-23). Just look at the animals with their mute, joyless, pleading eyes; isn’t their sighing evident? The stark mountains and the naked cliffs, which are scattered out under the sky like old bones, weep with the anxious expectation of rebirth.”

-Wilhelm Löhe in The Word Remains (p. 61)

*It is worth noting that Löhe lived from 1808 to 1872, during the time of Romanticism, which was characterized by an emphasis on emotion and a glorification of nature.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Word Remains: Regarding Nature

Announcing….our book cover artist!

While brainstorming ideas for the new book cover for He Remembers the Barren, Second Edition by Katie Schuermann, we knew that we wanted artwork that would tell the story of suffering and grief but also of hope and comfort in Christ. To bring this idea to fruition, we decided to tap into the artistic talent and theological insight of Edward Riojas, an artist who excels in bringing rich symbolism into the finest details. What Riojas is creating for us promises to be tender and honest and Christological, beautifully echoing the poignant and expressive words we find in Katie Schuermann’s writing.

We look forward to revealing the cover to you this spring! In the meantime, we encourage you to like Riojas’ Facebook page and browse his website to learn more about his artwork and the giclee prints he offers. Also be sure to read his latest blog post, “What Colors Confess,” which explores the theological nuance of color choice when painting our Lord and other sacred artwork.
Bio from his website: Edward Riojas has been creating artwork professionally for 35 years — maybe more. He received a fine art degree, then worked a three-year stint in advertising before spending nearly 31 years in the newspaper industry.

Riojas has built a reputation in the secular and sacred realms as a masterful illustrator and fine artist. His sacred, representational style has been likened to the Northern Renaissance, but Riojas can also throw a goofy curve ball when it comes to illustration. Today, his work is found in sanctuaries, institutions, private collections and markets throughout the U.S. and across the globe.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Announcing….our book cover artist!

An Excerpt from Quinquagesima Sunday

“We mourn for our sins. We have been selfish, greedy, impatient, angry, lustful, and full of pride. We have hurt ourselves and our loved ones. We have failed to serve and love our neighbors. Let us repent and set our faces toward Jerusalem. Ash Wednesday looms close. We prepare for the journey. For we know that we have been too attached to this world, too afraid to leave behind the pleasures of the flesh. We are desperately in need of a Savior.

But for all that, let us not sorrow for the love of God that has sent the Son to be handed over to the Gentiles, to be mocked, shamefully treated, spit upon, flogged, and crucified. In that, rather, let us give thanks and rejoice. Let us be like the cured blind man, following to
Jerusalem, glorifying God, knowing that leaving behind our sins is like leaving behind blindness. What do you want? To be free of sin, O Lord.”

-David H. Petersen in Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on An Excerpt from Quinquagesima Sunday

Emmanuel Press to release second edition of Katie Schuermann’s He Remembers the Barren

We are excited to announce a partnership with Katie Schuermann to publish the second edition of her breakthrough debut, He Remembers the Barren. First published in 2011, He Remembers the Barren is a tender conversation with women in the church who wrestle with the issue of barrenness in marriage. Schuermann offers encouragement and support to those struggling with infertility, gently addressing issues such as control of our bodies, family planning, adoption, and the source of conception, all while reminding the reader of her clear vocation in Christ and pointing her to the ultimate source of fruitfulness, vitality, and comfort: our Triune God. This book is not only for barren women but also for anyone seeking insight into suffering and hope; Schuermann focuses on our identity in Christ, told through the lens of barrenness.

As the author notes, “Eight years have passed since I first began writing He Remembers the Barren, and the time is ripe for a second edition. I have grown in my knowledge and understanding of the topic of barrenness, both through personal experience and study, and I would like my confession of the theology of the cross in the book to proclaim more clearly how our heavenly Father disciplines us, His dear children, through the gift of suffering in this life. I also feel compelled to better and further address the topics of adoption and the ethical issues surrounding in vitro fertilization and other such procedures utilized in the field of infertility medicine.”

While much of the original book’s content will remain, the reader can expect revisions throughout as well as new chapters and a Q & A appendix helpful for those who desire children and for their loved ones who wish to serve and comfort them. The second edition will also contain questions for discussion and contemplation, providing for both individual and group study. New cover artwork will capture the grief and suffering of barrenness but also the hope and comfort found in Christ.

We anticipate the release date to be early this summer. More details to come!

To learn more about the author, visit

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Lang on Traditional Rites and Ceremonies

small cover image

“The danger of the traditional rites and ceremonies degenerating into formalism and even superstition has shown itself here and there in all ages. But the same danger is manifested in the use of nontraditional rites and ceremonies of the so-called informal churches. Because of that danger, some people have denounced all rites and ceremonies. But such denunciations solve nothing. First of all, it is impossible to live without some kind of rites and ceremonies, and secondly, the history of the church shows that the solution is not in trying to discard the traditional ceremonies, but in revitalizing them by constantly teaching their meaning and value.”

-Paul H.D. Lang in Ceremony and Celebration

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lang on Traditional Rites and Ceremonies

Thy Kingdom Come: An Excerpt from Septuagesima


“God isn’t like you. He doesn’t think the way you think. His ways are not your ways. And He doesn’t owe you, or anyone, anything. For reasons all His own, however, He loves and welcomes you into His kingdom—not for free, but for the bloody, torturous death of His beloved Son. This is the essence of the Gospel: The Lord rewards those who don’t deserve it. He loves those who hate and abuse Him. He gives gifts to those who steal from Him. He is generous, merciful, and good despite you. If that doesn’t send a tingle down your spine, and you haven’t just lost a baby or your mother, shame on you. The Gospel doesn’t promise an emotional reaction, but it almost always gives it. The Bible calls that emotion joy.”

-David H. Petersen in Thy Kingdom Come, now 20% off though Friday, Feb. 10

Pre-Lent begins with Septuagesima, which is only 5 days away! With over sixty sermons spanning Pre-Lent, all forty days of Lent, and the Sundays after Easter, this book serves as an excellent daily devotion for both pastors and parishioners. Use the word cloud in the right sidebar to find more excerpts and also have a look at our reviews.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on Thy Kingdom Come: An Excerpt from Septuagesima

Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons by David H. Petersen

With Ash Wednesday just one month away, now is the time to order your copy of Thy Kingdom Come. This book of sixty sermons actually begins with Septuagesima (February 12) and continues with Pre-Lent, all forty days of Lent, and the Sundays after Easter. Pastors and parishioners alike find it to be an excellent daily devotion during Lent. Click on the Reviews tab above for links to interviews and reviews, have a look at the Table of Contents here, or use the word cloud in the right sidebar (“Thy Kingdom Come” or “Petersen”) to find a variety of excerpts.

“Almost no one I know of has the ability that Fr. Petersen has to simply speak God’s truth to us – both in its devastating exposure of the darkest secrets of our hearts and in its intense comfort to the troubled conscience. You can tell the man likes and reads poetry. You can tell the man likes, reads, and knows his Luther.”
-Rev. William Weedon

“Preaching is not primarily teaching, but teaching goes on in the process of proclaiming the Good News. Pastor Petersen has a way of cutting to the chase quickly in explaining biblical symbolism….He has the gift to speak with accessible profundity without falling into academic jargon. Pastor Petersen also brings in etymology and translation issues from the original languages, at times preaching in poetic patterns and lushly picturesque turns of phrase, thereby searing biblical imagery into the mind.”
-Rev. Larry Beane, “Meet my New ‘Old Friend‘”

“[W]hen I’m in the Divine Service, when my Lord is there for me really and bodily, I need to hear that I stink, that I’m an awful sinner, that I need to be humbled at every turn. I need to hear that He’s forgiven me for all those things, that the way in which He loved me was to die for me, that He is my comfort and peace, that He fills all the gaps and the holes I didn’t even know I had and the ones I’m painfully aware of….You get a chunk of Law and a heaping dose of Gospel, a lethal and loving set of Lent and Easter sermons in Thy Kingdom Come….The comfort of the Gospel isn’t vague and nebulous in these sermons. It’s real. It’s actual. It’s Christ incarnate for you in ways you’ve never understood before. You will know hope and peace. You will be relieved of your suffering because Jesus lives.”   -Adriane Heins, “A Resolution You Can Keep

“I commend this book of sermons for pastors to hone the art of purposeful and exegetically grounded preaching….It is helpful for pastors to read the sermons of other faithful pastors to break free their own style and usual vocabulary to express the unchanging faith. Pastor Petersen gives much in the way of a model for both new and experienced pastors who want to deliver a sound proclamation of Christ into our postmodern context. For the laity, sermons are most always good devotional material to read….While Pastor Petersen’s sermons are meaty and substantive, they are also very accessible, and most of them are brief enough for a brief gathering of the family for prayer and catechesis.”
-Rev. John Frahm, a review on Brothers of John the Steadfast

“This is the hallmark of a good sermon: does it preach Jesus Christ crucified for you, a sinner? If it doesn’t, no matter how good it may be in other respects, it is not a good sermon. St. Paul himself said, ‘For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Cor. 2:2). Jesus requires this of his preachers. He charges His Church with the task of preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His Name to all nations (Luke 24:47)….Every one of Pr. Petersen’s sermons is a bloody mess of Law and Gospel. The mess of your sin and the mess of Jesus’ cross are on display in every sermon. No matter the occasion, no matter the readings, every sermon is about Jesus in His saving work, Jesus crucified for you.”
-from the Foreword by Rev. Todd Wilken

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons by David H. Petersen

Symposia Sale: All books up to 25% off

In honor of the annual Symposia at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne next week, all of our books are on sale through Saturday, January 21! And if you’re planning to come, please note that there will not be an Emmanuel Press table at the Symposia next week, but you can place your order online and pick it up while you’re in town. (We’ll reimburse shipping.)

Explore our website by using the tabs above or the “word cloud” on the right sidebar. In addition, here are brief descriptions of each book:

*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 review here.

*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 are books of sermons which are invaluable for homiletical ideas and for the devotional reading of 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. Many customers find it to be an excellent daily devotion during Lent.

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

Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on Symposia Sale: All books up to 25% off

On the use of ceremonies

Why is it that some Christians kneel, bow, genuflect, make the sign of the cross on themselves, or hold their hands in a particular fashion during the Divine Service? These physical actions are called ceremonies, which are solemn religious actions that help to confess what we believe.

As Paul H.D. Lang writes in Ceremony and Celebration, “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)

Here are a few brief excerpts on the particular actions, taken from Lang’s much more detailed explanations in his book:

  • “For standing, sitting, and kneeling, the general rule is that we stand for prayer and praise, we sit for instruction and for lengthy chants and hymns, and we kneel for confession and adoration.” (p. 66)
  • “Bowing and genuflecting are very closely related. A genuflection is merely a more profound bow….Bowing or kneeling when the words of the Nicene Creed are said, ‘And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost…and was made man,’ expresses reverent awe over God’s grace in becoming man in order to redeem us. Luther speaks at length about the meaning of these words and how we should show our appreciation and reverence for the Incarnation.” (p. 68-69)
  • “Crossing oneself was practiced by Christians from the earliest centuries and may go back to apostolic times….It is one of the traditional ceremonies that was most definitely retained by Luther and the Lutheran Church in the 16th-century Reformation….The holy cross is the symbol of our salvation. We were signed with it when we were baptized. It is the sign by which the church blesses people and things. By using it we become part of the wonderful history of our faith and companions in the company of the saints. It is right that we should make the sign of the cross frequently and to glory in it, saying with St. Paul, ‘God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Gal. 6:14)”. (p. 72-73)
Posted in Latest News | Tagged , | Comments Off on On the use of ceremonies