Category Archives: Memorization

Pr Mark Surburg’s Catechism challenge: From memorization, to heart, to part of us.

Pastor Mark Surburg has written a great article for his congregation’s August newsletter that we can preview on his blog.

The article launches a challenge to the congregation to learn by heart the Small Catechism, and an explanation of the benefits this brings. This includes memorization, of course, but uses memorization to go on to the next levels, of learning the Catechism by heart, and for it to become a part of us. Pastor Surburg says:

In order for the explanations of the Small Catechism to function in this way, they need to be in our head.  This happens as we learn them by heart.  The first step in this process is to begin using them as we seek to commit them to memory.  The second step is that we continue to use them so that they go beyond memorization.  Memorized items are learned and then forgotten.  Items we have learned by heart are things that we use over and over until they become part of us.  Once they are part of us, they begin to shape and form the way we think and speak.

See the whole article on Surburg’s Blog, “Mark’s thoughts: Take the Small Catechism challenge.

AFLC — Ambassador Publications Version of Small Catechism Memory Cards

Previously, LutheranCatechism.com released Small Catechism Memory Cards in ten different translations. The translations are:

  • 1979 NPH-WELS
  • 1956 NPH-WELS “Gausewitz”
  • 2001 ELS
  • 2010 Sola Publishing / ReClaim Resources
  • 1992 CLBA-Faith & Fellowship
  • 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
  • 2004 Robert E. Smith
  • 1912 Synodical Conference
  • 1921 Triglot English

Today, LutheranCatechism.com releases Small Catechism Memory Cards in an eleventh translation, the 2007 Ambassador Publications, Association of Free Lutheran Congregations translation.

This is a nifty translation. This was the first version of the Small Catechism that I gave to my wife. She still carries a copy of this translation, along with the 1986 Concordia Publishing House translation, with her almost everywhere she goes.

This translation is an update of the Intersynodical Translation adopted by The Lutheran Free Church in 1929. It was updated and revised by the AFLC Board of Publications and Parish Education in 2007.

This text is used in LutheranCatechism.com’s newest addition to the Small Catechism Memory Cards series by the generous permission of Ambassador Publications. These free resources let 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 and an instructions file from the distribution page. Then follow the instructions to print and separate the cards.

1956 WELS-NPH “Gausewitz” Catechism Memory Cards

LutheranCatechism.com today releases Small Catechism memory cards using the 1956 WELS-NPH “Gausewitz” translation.

In an article titled, “Carl Gausewitz: Church Man and Catechist,” Edward C. Fredrich says,

It would be safe to assume even without statistical evidence that 90 percent of the members in our church body [the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod] learned the rudiments of the Christian religion from the Gausewitz Catechism in either its original or revised form.

Gausewitz’s edition of the Catechism in German and English was published by Northwestern Publishing House in 1917. Gausewitz died about 10 years later. His catechism was revised and published by NPH in 1956. In these two editions, Gausewitz’s Catechism has had a very long run.

A LutheranCatechism.com reader used the contact form to send an inquiry about whether I had any plans or interest to publish Small Catechism memory cards using the “Gausewitz” catechism.  That was on April 21, 2016. On the same day, I wrote to the Coordinator of Copyrights and Permissions at NPH inquiring about the copyright status and whether LutheranCatechism.com could obtain permission to use the “Gausewitz” text. Within a week, permission was granted. In this field of work, that is very fast. The text is copyrighted by NPH, by whose permission and generosity this new resource of memory cards 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 and an instructions file from the distribution page. Then follow the instructions to print and separate the cards.

This is the ninth translation in the series of Small Catechism memory cards. Previously LutheranCatechism.com published memory cards using the following translations:

Memory Card - 3rd Commandment Meaning - 1956 WELS-NPH 600px

 

Bob’s CPH Catechism Memory Cards

If you are a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pensacola, Florida, and want Small Catechism memory cards that use the 1986 CPH text, you are in luck. Talk to Bob. He will give you a set.

While visiting Immanuel this past Palm Sunday, Bob Myers presented me with a set of his memory cards.

That Bob has created these cards for the congregation is one among many ways that the congregation vigorously teaches the Small Catechism. For example, in the photo of Bob here as he is presenting a set of the cards  to me, we were about to begin the Pastor’s class between the two services. At each seat in the class, there was a pamphlet that the congregation had printed containing the Small Catechism. The class began with reading a section from the Catechism, and then went on to the topic and material for that day.

Bob created his cards in a handy size, the same size as standard business cards.

He set them up for duplex printing, by which the questions are on one side of the cards and the answers are on the other side.

Because Bob’s cards have been created by him within the Immanuel congregation for use within that congregation, this is within the general license CPH grants to congregations to use the copyrighted text of the Small Catechism. So if you are a member of Immanuel, Bob is allowed to give you a set of his cards.

When you talk to Bob about to get a set of his cards, also ask him about Yshnog. He’ll be happy to give you a copy of that too. For that matter, anyone can get a copy of Yshnog.

 

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:

Yshnog – Another Great Catechism Memory Aid, from Bob Myers

While visiting Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pensacola, Florida earlier this year, my online friend, and friend of LutheranCatechism.com, Bob Myers, presented me with a copy of another great Catechism memory aid, which I have temporarily dubbed Yshnog.

What is Yshnog?

If you asked the question, what is The First Commandment, the answer would be Yshnog, if you abbreviated it with the first letter of each word in the commandment: You shall have no other gods.

Bob has gone through the entire Small Catechism and created these abbreviations. For example, for The Third Commandment, Wdtm (What does this mean?), the abbreviated answer is: W s f a l G s t w d no d p a H w, b h I s a g h a l i. In words, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.”

Since Bob gave me this on Palm Sunday, I have worked with it. This is a good device that prompts well, but does not give too much away. It evokes memory, and strengthens memory.

Download it here, and join in a competition to suggest a better name for it than Yshnog, unless, of course, you like the name Yshnog and think we should keep it. Suggest your names in the comments here or in our Facebook group.

 

1986 CPH Translation — 100 Sets of Small Catechism Memory Cards for Trinity

Elk River Printing of Sidney, Montana has delivered 100 sets of Small Catechism memory cards for Trinity Lutheran Church, Sidney, Montana.

 

These have been designed and ordered printed by me in my role as Christian Education Director of the congregation. These cards use the 1986 CPH translation, which is permitted by the general copyright license from CPH, because these cards arise from within and are to be consumed within the single congregation. (Our sister congregation, St. John Lutheran Church, in Fairview, Montana will not be able to use them because they did not arise from within that congregation.)

These sets will be put into index card cases and given to children in Wednesday School, Sunday School, and confirmation. They will be given to adults new to Lutheran teaching.

Seventh Translation in Small Catechism Memory Cards Series – 2004 Robert E. Smith

Previously, LutheranCatechism.com released Small Catechism Memory Cards in six different translations. The translations are:

  • 1979 NPH-WELS
  • 2001 ELS
  • 2010 Sola Publishing / ReClaim Resources
  • 1912 Synodical Conference
  • 1921 Triglot English
  • 1992 CLBA-Faith & Fellowship

Today, LutheranCatechism.com releases Small Catechism Memory Cards in a seventh translation, the 2004 Robert E. Smith translation. This is a fresh translation into English of the German text printed in Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, pp. 538-559.

Rev. Smith is Electronic Resources Librarian, Concordia Theological Seminary, (1993- ). His previous positions include Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Wolcottville, IN (1989-1992), and Pastor, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Winamac, IN (1985-1989). He holds a BA in Theology and Theological Languages, Valparaiso University (1979); Master of Library Science, Indiana University (1981); Master of Divinity, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO (1985).

Many are using Rev. Smith’s translation because he has graciously donated it into the public domain.  The resource released today provides to the many users of this translation the same form of memory cards for their chosen translation of Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism as are being provided to users of other translations.

These free resources let 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 and an instructions file from the distribution page. Then follow the instructions to print and separate the cards.

Sixth Translation – CLBA Small Catechism Memory Cards

Previously, LutheranCatechism.com released Small Catechism Memory Cards in five different translations. The translations are:

  • 1979 NPH-WELS
  • 2001 ELS
  • 2010 Sola Publishing / ReClaim Resources
  • 1912 Synodical Conference
  • 1921 Triglot English

Today, LutheranCatechism.com releases Small Catechism Memory Cards in a sixth translation, the 1992 CLBA-Faith & Fellowship translation.

The roots of this translation are in the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway. The Norwegian was translated into English in the United States in 1939 and revised again in 1959. A variety of Free Church and Scandinavian synods in the United States have used Catechisms in this lineage.

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America, commonly referred to as the CLB or affectionately as “the LB” further revised this text when preparing An Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism in 1992. The Explanation is based on one published in 1837 by Dr. Erick Pontoppidan, a Danish Lutheran pastor and theologian who had a profound influence on congregational life in the Scandinavian countries. My own father and his sisters were taught from H. U. Sverdrup’s revision of Dr Pontoppidan’s Explanation, translated into English by E. G. Lund, D.D., published by Augsburg Publishing House in 1900.

The text is copyrighted by Faith and Fellowship Press, the publishing house of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, by whose permission and generosity this new resource is given freely to the world.

This free resource lets anyone print standard size 3” x 5” index 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 and an instructions file from the distribution page. Then follow the instructions to print and separate the cards.

 

Beautiful Design by Kris Brown – Fifth Translation in Small Catechism Memory Cards Series – 1921 Triglot English

Previously, LutheranCatechism.com released Small Catechism Memory Cards in four different translations. The translations are:

  • 1979 NPH-WELS
  • 2001 ELS
  • 2010 Sola Publishing / ReClaim Resources
  • 1912 Synodical Conference

Today, LutheranCatechism.com releases Small Catechism Memory Cards in a fifth translation, the 1921 English translation in the Triglot Concordia.

These beautiful memory cards have:

  • post card size
  • graphical design enhancements
  • questions on one side, answers on the other

These have been created by graphics designer, Kris Brown of Kris Brown Designs.

The post card sized style is distributed in two versions, one with cut lines and the other without cut lines, as the user might prefer.

These free resources let 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, print the cards on letter size card stock, and cut four cards from each sheet. Remember to print them in duplex, two-sided printing, to put the questions on one side, and the answers on the other side.

Memory Card - 3rd Commandment Question - 1921 Triglot - Kris Brown