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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
  • 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
  • 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
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Thanksgiving 2020

  • As the civil calendar returns to Thanksgiving, so also the church remembers Whom we thank, and why.
  • The Hausvater Project draws your attention to some posts from prior years that may guide your hearts in giving thanks.

“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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Conversation Starters for Family Enrichment

Through conversation, we bond with our family. We learn about one another and instill values in our children. But conversation does not come easily for everyone. If you would like some “talking points,” here are some questions for starting conversations with your family. Along the way, practice “salting” your conversation with pertinent truths from God’s Word. ...

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Constructing a Family Altar Board



The photo above is our “Family Altar Board” hung directly above our piano.

What is it?

Simply, it is a 2' by 3' white board which we have drawn on with both permanent and dry-erase markers. All of the boxes and labels are permanent, as is the cyclical church calendar. Then, each week, we update the pertinent information with a dry-erase marker. In the center, there is an erasable message or a simple picture drawn representing something in the church year or from our devotion.

There are 4 basic areas:

  1. Divine Service Summary (top left)
  2. Church Calendar (top right)
  3. Christian Virtue (bottom left)
  4. Home Devotions (bottom right)

How do we use it?

It's a very simple idea which has grown into a powerful family tradition.

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“Balancing Work and Family” vs. “Redeeming the Time”

As I’ve received the joy of marriage and the bounty of children, I also have come to know the struggle that so many men have faced before me—how to be a faithful husband, a loving father, find time for myself, and also fulfill my responsibilities at work? The key, according to many voices in our culture, is balance: strive to balance work and family.

As in so many other aspects of life, Scripture and society disagree. The Bible does not teach that I should balance work and family, but that I should prioritize family and recognize that my work is for my family (as well as for the community I serve). In God’s Word, one does not find the metaphor of “balance” applied to the hours of the day; rather, when Scripture speaks of a Christian’s proper attitude toward time, the image is one of “redemption”—of buying back what once was lost, cherishing it, and devoting it to the Lord’s work.

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Encouraging Daily Devotions in the Congregation

How can pastors encourage their parishioners to live out the Word of God every day of the week, using the Sunday Divine Service as a foundation? The Hausvater Project invited Pastor David Mumme of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterville, Minnesota, to explain the resources he uses to promote the prayer life of his congregation.


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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV).


It is essential to our life in Christ that we heed those words of St. Paul both in our life together within a faithful Christian congregation and in our life together within a faithful Christian family and home. We pastors spend a significant amount of time planning and preparing for this in the congregation by choosing hymns and preparing bulletins for Divine Services. But how do we help the members of our congregation let the word of Christ dwell richly in their homes and families? Every pastor encourages his members to read the Scriptures, to pray with and for their families, to sing hymns together, and to learn by heart Bible verses and the texts of Luther’s Small Catechism. But how do we help them to actually do this?

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