The Hausvater Project

Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

  • How to Design a Family Altar Board

    Here are some practical tips for engaging your family in a discussion of the Sunday Gospel lesson, the weekly catechism section, Bible memory work, and hymnody. Read More
  • Luther’s Morning Prayer

    Learn to chant Luther’s Morning Prayer—an excellent way for your family begin each day in Jesus’ name! Read More
  • Jesus Sinners Doth Receive

    Download a free study guide for this Gospel-centered hymn, including questions, an answer key, and traceable handwriting practice sheets to aid memorization! Read More
  • A Guide to Our Order of Worship

    As we now walk through the liturgy, note how it presents the life of Christ: His birth, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc. All true Christian worship is centered in Him and performed through Him. Read More
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The Lord’s Prayer (Chant)


Our Father, who art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy name …

Three Available Formats

  • Click here to download a two-part document, including a vocal score and an accompaniment score for “The Lord’s Prayer.”
  • Click here for an MP3 recording of a family singing along with the piano accompaniment. This is not a professional recording. This is a real-life family, just like yours, showing that children can learn to sing along.
  • Click here for an MP3 recording with piano only.

Composition Notes

I composed this piece in the years following my brain injury in 2005. As I was healing, this version of “The Lord’s Prayer” just came out one day on the piano in about an hour. The Lord’s Prayer had become very dear to me, as I wasn’t sure many times even what to say to God during those difficult times. It is His perfect prayer for all times. This was how I prayed the Lord’s Prayer in my heart and being.

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Katharine von Bora: The Morning Star of Wittenberg


Jenna and Shanna Strackbein, Katharine von Bora: The Morning Star of Wittenberg, illustrated by Emily and Jenna Strackbein, with maps and illumination by Elisabeth Strackbein, and a forward by John and Marlene Eidsmoe (Aransas Pass, Texas: Unbroken Faith Publications, 2017)

 

I unwrapped the manila packaging, surprised to find a children’s book inside. I pulled out a strikingly beautiful, smooth matte book that I simply couldn’t help running my hand over. “I don’t remember ordering this!” I thought to myself, running my finger over the title, Katharine von Bora: The Morning Star of Wittenberg. Later, as I read it aloud to my children, it struck me that the theological and historical contents of Katharine von Bora were just as pleasing as all of the intricate illustrations inside.

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As a teacher-trained homeschooling mom, the practicalities of reading a book aloud are important. This book is large enough to be seen by a group, but small enough to hold on one’s lap. It took my family around thirty minutes to read its forty-five pages aloud, and examine the lovely artwork. The reading level is about upper-grade school, but when read aloud it is understood by younger children (though my kindergarten and preschool students lost interest after about five minutes—however, they later picked up the book and paged through it, taking great interest in the pictures). A glossary is provided in the back of the book. It is helpful to explain some theological words, but it is not exhaustive. For instance, my children did not know what the word “recant” meant, nor was it in the glossary. The book also provides a very beautiful map of Germany in the beginning and a timeline of the Luther family at the end.

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Here We Stand: Two Points on Marriage from the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIII


When beginning his treatise, The Estate of Marriage, written in 1522, Luther wrote, “How I dread preaching on the estate of marriage!” Luther saw that having to defend the truth against so many misconceptions and abuses was going to create a lot of work for him, but he concluded that he “must take up the matter boldly” for the sake of “poor, bewildered consciences.”

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Both Luther’s writings and the writings of the Lutheran Reformers in general grant special focus to the topic of marriage. The Augsburg Confession and the Apology take up the matter with boldness in Article XXIII, applying a Scriptural understanding of marriage to the office of priests. Article XXIII begins with two basic points that are foundational to this Scriptural understanding of marriage. These points are not to be taken as one against the other, but as two purposes that stand side by side in understanding this blessed estate that God has given us.

The first point is taken from 1 Corinthians 7, and the second is taken from Matthew 19 and Genesis 1.

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What Is That? The Genius of Luther’s Small Catechism


Most Lutherans who went through junior high confirmation class at one time in their lives are familiar with Luther’s famous question from his Small Catechism, “What does this mean?” Sadly, this is all many remember. But at the same time, this proves Luther’s genius. He devised a simple, childlike question which all people can relate to as they are learning the basics of the faith. Whatever failure the church has had in retaining its children after confirmation is its own fault, not that of the Small Catechism.

In the original German, Luther’s question was framed a bit differently than what we’ve come to know in English translation. “Was ist das?,” the Small Catechism reads. Literally we would translate this as “What is it?” or “What is that?” As you can see, this is an even more basic question than “What does this mean?” It is simpler. It is more childlike. We can picture a small child pointing to a colorful flower or a strange-looking insect and asking the same question: What is it? What is that?

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Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain


Lord, help us ever to retain
The Catechism's doctrine plain
As Luther taught the Word of truth
In simple style to tender youth.

This hymn points us to the Catechism and reminds us that the Six Chief Parts of Christian doctrine remain important all of life. The presence of all six parts is very clear in the text and invites discussion and instruction:

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The Reformation and Education: Emphases, Influence, and Lasting Impact


Martin Luther may be best known for his theological reformation of the medieval church, which had strayed from the pure teaching of God’s Word. Luther did not, however, pursue his theological aims in isolation from other concerns; his writings touch upon politics, social life, and the arts. He also recognized the importance of education, both for the church and for the civil realm.

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From Luther’s writings on education, we may derive answers to the following questions:

  • What Should Be Taught?
  • How Should It Be Taught?
  • To Whom Should It Be Taught?
  • By Whom Should It Be Taught?
  • How Shall We Honor Luther’s Legacy Today?

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