Luther’s Hauspostille

From 1531 to 1535 Luther delivered many of these sermons, what are known as his Hauspostille (house postils). These were written for fathers to use as devotional material in their households, as well as for pastors to use for aid in sermon preparation. Just as Luther expected the head of the household to teach the Catechism to his children, so he desired them to have devotions with them, a practice that Luther was eager to do himself.

Luther’s Time at the Wartburg

Although Luther was in hiding during this period, it did not mean that he entirely stopped his scholarly and reforming activity. Indeed, the Reformer busied himself with a number of important matters.

Lutheran Reformation - Worship Service 1

“Savior of the Nations, Come”

Though many hymns have been attributed to Ambrose, “Savior of the Nations, Come” is one of a few hymns that is evidentially attributed to Ambrose. Martin Luther, also writing during a period of great adversity, provided a literal translation of this text into German from which many English translations have since been produced. Fred Precht rightly says of the hymn: “In the history of hymnody this hymn is the Advent hymn par excellence.”

Marks of the Church

Certain holy things mark the communion of saints. How many of these holy things there are can vary in the reformers’ discussion. Far from being some nebulous concept and invisible reality with little or no definite connection to the solid world of human experience, the Lutheran reformers pointed to an identifiable, locatable church, which was Christ’s own church as his words rattled ears, as his gifts met and hallowed embodied sinners, and as those so touched came to speak and sing of their incarnate Lord, and to suffer alongside him.

Lutheran Reformation - Worship Service 1

The Litany

The Litany was in use during Luther’s early years of reform, though he desired it to be sung in the Mass and the daily offices of the congregations.

Lutheran Reformation - Worship Service 1

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

When the attacks of the evil one assail us and in times of thanksgiving, we can trust in the One who is faithful and has promised to be with us always and rejoice with Luther that “Our victory has been won; the Kingdom ours remaineth.”

The Diet of Worms

Although Luther had initially believed that his condemnation at Worms was the end of his life and Reformation, it proved ultimately to be merely the end of the beginning.