Now Available: Liturgical Forms by Friedrich Lochner

Liturgical Forms represents the latest stage in bringing Friedrich Lochner’s works into English, which was begun by Matthew Carver’s translation of The Chief Divine Service (2020). It shows the other facets of the liturgical life of the early Missouri Synod and particularly the interest in and desire for suitable and historically justifiable rites drawn from old, orthodox Lutheran sources.

It is comprised of two parts: first, the Liturgical Forms, a work originally published in 1895 as a compilation material (rites, prayers, etc.) from Lochner’s liturgical journal; second, shorter liturgical works that were published separately, including an order of service for Good Friday, an order for a children’s Christmas program, and a pamphlet called Feasts and Usages, a sort of explanation of the differences between Lutheran and Roman Catholic liturgical practices. Find the Table of Contents here.

This is an excellent resource for those interested in liturgy and the history of the Missouri Synod and of Lutheranism in America, providing the reader with ample reason to appreciate and thank God for Lochner’s faithful work and Carver’s superb translation.

“Matthew Carver, having translated Friedrich Lochner’s splendid study, “The Chief Divine Service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church,” has again put us in his debt by providing us with a translation of Lochner’s work on the Occasional Services, together with a children’s service for Christmas and a service for Good Friday. Lochner does not create services out of whole cloth but, relying on his deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgical treasures, presents us with works well grounded in that heritage.”
Pr. Charles McClean – Our Savior Lutheran Church, Baltimore, MD

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Friedrich Johann Carl Lochner (1822–1902), born in Nuremberg, came under the influence of Wilhelm Löhe and moved to America, where he served as a Lutheran pastor and an instructor focusing on liturgics. During his time here, co-founded a teacher’s school in Milwaukee, WI, and was a professor at the seminary in Springfield, IL. Meanwhile, he edited and published a liturgical monthly, Liturgische Monatsschrift (1884–1886) to supply pastors with liturgical forms, prayers, and information lacking in the available agendas. Besides liturgical works he also published the polemical Notwehrblatt, which opposed Grabau, two devotional works for Passiontide and Easter, and a series of Epistle sermons.

Matthew Carver, a freelance translator specializing in German and Latin, lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Amanda, a graphic designer, and their two sons Edward and Alfred.

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Available soon: The Conduct of the Service – Pre-order and save 10%

We are pleased to announce that The Conduct of the Service is currently in the process of being reprinted. We’ll have more information soon on an expected release date. In the meantime, pre-order now to save 10% and be among the first to receive a copy from the new print run.

Gathering together works from Dr. Arthur C. Piepkorn and Rev. Charles McClean, this book is an invaluable resource for conducting the liturgy of the Church as it serves to teach reverence and encourage uniformity and beauty in worship.

The following is an excerpt from the first section, entitled “Notes on Reverence”:
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There is really only one basic rule of good form: “Be courteous!” And similarly there is really only one basic rule of altar decorum: “Be reverent!” Every other rule is simply a practical amplification of this basic charge.

To be reverent we must first of all be humble. We are ministers — ministers of Christ, serving Christ in the room and in the name of fellow-sinners. We minister not because of any virtue in ourselves. Our sufficiency is of God. We minister as temples of the Holy Ghost, as being bound in sacramental union to the Lord of the Church, as kings and priests living in mystic communion with the Most Holy Trinity, as those whom Christ has chosen that we might be with Him and that He might send us forth to preach (St. Mark 3, 13). We minister under the aspect of eternity and in the Presence of the Divine Majesty. Wherever we stand, we are on holy ground. In such a ministry there is no room for pride, only for all-pervading humility.

To be reverent we must be prepared. We must know what we are doing, and why we are doing it. The physical preparations, as far as may be, should be taken care of well in advance. There should be no last-minute running to and fro, no hasty final preparation, no distressed paging about. A meditation, brief if need be, but as long as the time permits, ought never to be overlooked; spiritual preparation is more essential to reverence than the proper ordering of the physical adjuncts.

To be reverent we must be calm. The unforeseen, the accidental, the disturbing must not be permitted to distract us. We are God’s ambassadors and God’s servants. We are speaking for and to God. Our entire lives ought to be, and our public ministry must be en Christo – in Christ! So must the calm peace of the changeless Christ in our souls be reflected in our outward demeanor.

-Dr. Arthur C. Piepkorn, p. iii

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Back in stock….and 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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“…for he will save his people from their sins.”

Share the good news of our Savior’s birth with Christmas cards that combine stunning imagery with words of Scripture and beloved hymns.

Savior (left) 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).

 

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An Army of Angels Leads to the Nativity

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 angels 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.

As with all of our Christmas cards, this design is exclusive to Emmanuel Press.

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Christmas Cards that Focus on Christ

Share the good news of our Savior’s birth with Christmas cards that combine stunning imagery with words of Scripture and beloved hymns.

Messiah (right) 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).

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 thirteen. Choose from a variety of styles, including stained glass, illumination, triptych, classic art, and original commissioned pieces.

 

*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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Introducing our newest Christ-centered Christmas card…

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 are pleased to add a new Christmas card to our collection: Adoration. In rich, vibrant colors, this artwork depicts three magi offering gifts and kneeling in worship before the Christ Child, who is illuminated by the light of the guiding star. The inside text comes from “The Star Proclaims the King is Here” by Coelius Sedulius:

The wiser Magi see from far
And follow on His guiding star;
And led by light, to light they press
And by their gifts their God confess.

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.

 

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Save up to 25% on Scratch & Dent books

It’s time to make room on our shelves as we gear up for Christmas card season! Save up to 25% on books with minor cosmetic flaws. Flaws include a fold or scratch on the cover, dented spine or corner, or a cover discoloration; inside material isn’t affected. A limited number of the following books are offered at Scratch & Dent prices:

These prices will not be reflected on our website. Instead, you will need to contact us with your mailing address and order details to purchase any of these books. You are welcome to add any full-price items to your order. Standard shipping rates apply. After we receive your email, we’ll send you customized Paypal invoice with payment required in 24 hours.

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Liber Hymnorum: Why are these hymns important?

Matthew Carver: “The hymns in Liber Hymnorum are important, first, because they are the Church’s hymns. They have been used by God’s people for centuries, have stood the test of time, and have been carefully tended and passed on for the use of every generation. In them we find our own prayers, praises, and thanks to the Triune God joined with those of the saints of every age. This collection, in particular, is also important because it features the peculiar forms of the melodies as they ‘grew up’ and took on their own ‘accent’ in the bosom of the medieval church of Germany. A lot of people familiar with ancient hymns are nevertheless unaware of the rich multiplicity of ancient hymn tunes from the times before later scholars normalized, and yet sadly erased, many of these beautiful peculiarities. Thus we are at the same time given a window into the musical culture of the early Lutheran period in Germany.”

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An endorsement from Dr. Robin Leaver, Visiting Professor, Yale University; Honorary Professor, Queen’s University: “Many Lutherans have forgotten – or do not know – that Latin hymns were not banished when Luther created his sturdy German hymns, but both continued side by side in the liturgical and devotional life of the early Lutheran churches. A simplistic equation has often been presented: Latin hymns are Catholic; vernacular hymns are Lutheran. But the sensitivity towards some Latin hymns was not linguistic but theological. Since the Reformation was nurtured and promoted by Latin schools, Latin hymns – corrected if necessary, as well as newly written – continued to be sung by the Latin scholars. This singing was often in alternation, with scholars singing each stanza in Latin and the parishioners following with the same stanza in German. This valuable collection, which is based on early Lutheran sources, on the one hand, witnesses to the historic Lutheran tradition of Latin hymnody, and on the other, is a practical collection of Latin hymns with English translations. The Latin hymns can be sung in seminaries and conferences where Latin is known and the vernacular versions sung from time to time in parishes. And there is also the possibility of experiencing the early Lutheran tradition of singing the alternate stanzas of a hymn in Latin and the vernacular. We are indebted to Matthew Carver for drawing our attention to this neglected liturgical tradition and for making these texts, translations, and music accessible.”

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How can Liber Hymnorum be used in a classical education or homeschool setting?

*Pre-order the next printing and save 10%*

“It is particularly with classical Latin teachers and homeschoolers in mind that the Latin (with normalized spelling) has been included, though it will also be of interest to scholars as well. The Church’s Latin, especially as found in its best hymnody in addition to the Latin psalter, is an important part of a well-rounded Latin course, since it gives students a sound example of a medieval Latin embraced by every age of the Latin-speaking church and filled with Christian content. The effort to sing a few stanzas every day will reward any student with improved familiarity with Latin poetry, and the melodies will serve as a mnemonic device, making the texts easier to learn by heart. Older students can also find in the Latin hymns models for their own composition practice. The Gregorian notation, too, with its modes and clefs, is an important part of music history. Nevertheless, the modern notation provided in the English section can be used to play and teach the Latin hymns.”
-Matthew Carver: Author, editor, and translator

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Liber Hymnorum will be a powerful resource in our house. As a liturgical Lutheran, I am thankful to have another devotional tool, especially one with simple, beautiful melodies and meaningful text. I am humbled and pleased that this hymnal can emphasize our continuity of faith over generations and centuries!…This will be a great resource for liturgical Lutherans, families, catechizers, homeschoolers, Latin students, and anyone interested in history, theology, Lutheranism, or the Reformation.”
-An excerpt from the forthcoming review by Deaconess Mary J. Moerbe, homeschooling mother of six, Lutheran author and speaker, who encourages Lutheran writing at maryjmoerbe.com

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