“Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”

by Mr. Jonathan Swett Numerous treasures of the current body of Lutheran hymnody arose in the Reformation period, the chief contributor of which was Martin Luther. Several of these hymns have been explored over the course of this blog in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!  Although “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”… Read More >

How To Teach Children a Reformation Hymn

by Mrs. Katie Schuermann The Reformation was birthed by adults, but it is preserved by children. For centuries, pastors and parents have been preaching a holy heritage into the ears of the young, clearly confessing a salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This happy proclamation, like a precious family heirloom, has… Read More >

Luther’s Reform of the Mass

by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz If you want to start an argument among Lutherans, just bring up the topic of worship and the liturgy.  Strong opinions exist along the spectrum, from those who would advocate a more casual, informal style of worship with very few traditional elements, to those who insist on following a very… Read More >

Lutheran Liturgical Practices During Lent

by Mr. Jonathan Swett Each year, the Christian church embarks on a forty-day journey leading up to Easter, known as the season of Lent.  When discussing Lenten liturgical practices of Lutherans, I believe one can distinguish three different categories into which each practice can be placed: Visual, Historical/Traditional, and Emotional/Spiritual.  It can be debated; however,… Read More >

Johann Eck

At one time a friend of Luther’s, Johann Eck became Luther’s staunchest adversary. Their debate in Leipzig proved to be a critical point in defining the authority and infallibility of the Pope and Scripture, the issue at the heart of the Reformation.

Luther on the Transfiguration

by Rev. Stephen Preus To consider Christ’s glorious Transfiguration on its own is eye-opening; to hear how Luther describes this glory as yours nearly bursts the eyes from their sockets, bringing hope to the Christian heart. Luther’s use of the Transfiguration to teach the hope we have in the resurrection of the body is truly… Read More >

“O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright”

by Mr. Jonathan Swett Philipp Nicolai’s two most famous hymns–for which he was both author and composer–are “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme) and “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern).  The fact that these have been commonly referred to as the “King and… Read More >

The Gloria in Excelsis

by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz I grew up attending Trinity Lutheran School in Clinton Township, Michigan. Every year the children of the school presented a Christmas program. It was a little different each year, but one part was always the same: the kindergarten angels. Every year the kindergarten students would dress in white robes with… Read More >

Lutheran Advent Traditions

by Dcs. Betsy Karkan At a time when much of the world is frantically gift shopping, putting up Christmas lawn decorations and anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, Christians around the world are observing the liturgical season of Advent. From the Latin word for “coming”, Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for the… Read More >

“The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us”

by Mr. Jonathan A. Swett The uplifting expression of faith and joy at Christ’s second coming in “The Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us” (LSB 514) by Johann Walter and Michael Praetorius reminds us that there is meaningful history in so many of our great Lutheran hymns. You may recall that Walter is affectionately known as… Read More >