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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 Children’s Christmas Program

This Christmas program is a translation and revision of Liturgie für einen Kinder-Gottesdienst zur Feierder heiligen Weihnacht, a German children’s Christmas program.

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The Reverend Friedrich Lochner (1822­–1902) originally wrote this program in 1869 for his congregation, Trinity Evangelical­ Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. For several decades it was the only children’s program used at Trinity Church. As late as 1949 it was hailed as “ spite of the many other [children's programs] that have appeared since then.”

The program’s central thought can be summarized in this way. The Christian celebrates Christmas in joyful thanksgiving for the birth of Jesus Christ. God the Father promised this birth in the beginning and repeated His promise down through the ages. It was not the birth of any ordinary man, but God Himself being born a man of the Virgin Mary. This birth of the Son of God is for our good because, through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, God offers to all mankind freedom from the guilt of sin and the fear of death.

Throughout the program the children encourage the congregation to take to heart and take comfort in our Lord’s birth as the Savior of the nations. In this way this children’s program is a suitable preparation for the full Christian Christmas celebration; namely, the Service of our Lord where the benefits of His birth are unmistakably distributed in the Word and Supper of our Christ.

May our Lord Jesus in His Word here presented deepen our understanding, increase our appreciation, and encourage our faithful thanksgiving for His holy and perfect birth.

Translated and Revised by the Reverend John W. Fenton. © 1991 by John W. Fenton. For permission to use in your congregation, see the guidelines provided in the PDF download.

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