Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s English Text in Small Catechism Memory Cards

LutheranCatechism.com releases Small Catechism Memory Cards in an eighth translation, the 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland translation in English.

This English text of the Small Catechism is copyrighted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland by whose permission and generosity this new resource is given freely to the world.

This free resource lets anyone print memory cards, each containing a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism, to use as a memorization aid, for teaching children, or for meditation and prayer. Simply download the free PDF file containing the cards from the distribution page. Then print and cut the cards. Two versions of the PDF file are provided, one with cut lines, and the other without cut lines.

The ELCF is a multilingual church. Many of its congregations conduct a main Sunday service in one language and another in a second language. In various parts of the country, English is one of the languages used, and the church publishes its own English translation of Luther’s Small Catechism.

In 1993 the General Synod of the ELCF requested that the Bishops’ Conference take action on the drawing up of a new book on the basic truths of the Christian faith. This book would be organized according to the parts of the Small Catechism and would include an English text of the Small Catechism.

The drafting process lasted for three years. A fairly large group was assigned to read the drafts, give detailed written feedback, and meet regularly to comment on the text. The draft was submitted to the Bishops’ Conference, which forwarded its own proposal, based on Bishop Huovinen’s draft, to the General Synod. After minor revision, the Finnish and Swedish versions of the new book on Christian doctrine were approved by the General Synod on 12 November 1999. The translation into English is by Riitta and Thomas Toepfer.

The Scripture portions quoted are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Attempt was made in the Ten Commandments, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer to approach the language of the ICEL texts, with some changes called for due to the Finnish text of these. In particular, the Lord’s Prayer uses “sins” rather than “debts” or “trespasses,” and it follows the more traditional English form.

Previous editions of the Small Catechism Memory Cards using translations of various American synods have been published for 8.5” x 11” paper, and with either index card or post card sized cards. For this edition, however, the main users of the cards likely will be Finns and other Europeans worshiping and studying in English. Accordingly, LutheranCatechism.com has produced the cards for the ELCF English text on size A4 paper, printing in landscape orientation, and dividing the pages into quadrants to fit four cards on each page.

The distribution page also provides access to the previously released translations, which are:

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