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)

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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Luther's Morning Prayer (Chant)


“I thank you, my Heavenly Father, ...” is a familiar prayer that Martin Luther composed for Christians to say each morning upon rising.

For a free PDF download of a musical arrangement for chanting the prayer, plus some explanations from the composer, continue reading.

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“O Give Thanks”: A Hebrew Prayer Lesson


When King David brought the Ark of the LORD into Jerusalem, he delivered a new psalm to Asaph, saying, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Those words are found again in Psalms 106:16, 107:1, 118:1, and 136:1.

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Today it is a common practice to pray David’s words of thanksgiving after the meal blessing, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blessed.” Following is a lesson for praying “O Give Thanks...” in Hebrew. (The capitalized syllables receive greater stress.)

Listen to Psalm 136:1 as read in Hebrew by Abraham Shmuelof:


Continue reading for pronunciation clues and a FREE handout for use in Christians homes and congregations.

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Table Prayer: The Eyes of All Wait upon You, O Lord (Chant)


“The eyes of all wait upon You, O Lord ...” is a familiar prayer that Christians commonly say at mealtime.

table prayer

For a free PDF download of a musical arrangement for chanting the prayer, plus some explanations from the composer, continue reading.

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A Guide to Our Order of Worship


This summary and explanation of the liturgy is based specifically upon the Common Order, Rite II (Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, pp. 60ff), but many of the themes discussed below apply also to similar orders of service found in other hymnals.

The traditional Divine Service contains elements which are Sacrificial (what we do for God) and elements which are Sacramental (what God is doing for us). Though the Sacrificial aspects are important, the Sacramental aspects are where the true focus should be. When Jesus visited the home of friends (Luke 10:38–42), Martha was distracted with serving Jesus a meal, while Mary sat listening to Him. Martha requested that Mary help her, and our Savior replied: “Martha, Martha … one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part.” This has application for our worship life: what Martha was doing for Christ (sacrificial) was certainly appreciated by Him, but what Mary did by sitting at His feet (sacramental) was a better part—the “one thing needful.”

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.

The Baptismal Font was typically in the entryway of churches. Through this Sacrament God had us enter the Holy Christian Church. For that reason the Invocation opens the service as a reminder of Baptism, as we worship in the name of the Triune God who has graciously made us His own. The pastor makes the (+) Sign of the Cross, likewise reminiscent of Baptism. We note that the sign of the cross opens and closes the service and marks the Sacramental aspects of the service where God comes to us in the Means of Grace during Absolution, the Creed (Baptism), Words of Institution and reception of the Supper.

We come to confess the spiritual truth about ourselves in the Confession of Sins, admitting that on our own we have nothing to offer. We bow before God in humility, confident of His great mercy to us in Christ. This is followed by the Absolution, where the pastor stands in the place of Christ to declare God’s forgiveness. This declaration goes out freely without condition.

Four languages are represented in liturgical songs in our service:

  • Hebrew shows our connection to the Old Testament believers.
  • Greek shows our roots in the New Testament apostolic church.
  • Latin shows that we are part of the Western heritage of the church.
  • English shows that our worship is also present day and relevant for our time.

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Jesus Sinners Doth Receive (Hymn Study)


Jesus sinners doth receive;
Oh, may all this saying ponder
Who in sin’s delusions live
And from God and heaven wander!
Here is hope for all who grieve—
Jesus sinners doth receive.

Erdmann Neumeister was a Lutheran pastor and poet who lived from May 12, 1671 to August 18, 1756. His hymn “Jesus Sinners Doth Receive” is a great discussion guide for teaching repentance and forgiveness. When memorizing only a few stanzas, teachers may find stanzas one, five and seven most appealing. These three sum up the message of the Gospel quite clearly. Stanzas one and seven begin and close with the refrain—“Jesus sinners doth receive”—which is helpful when infants, toddlers or preschoolers are memorizing the words.

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