Category Archives: Reading Plans — Resources for nurturing the faith in the home.

We are blessed to have the following introduction to a valuable resource for nurturing the faith in the home. At our request, Pastor Philip Hoppe writes: is a website run by two Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastors, myself and Pr. Dan Galchutt, who desire to help believers live out the Christian Life at Home.

We suggest that in each home, there should be a time together each day to:

•   read the Scriptures
•   pray
•   sing
•   memorize texts

 We have various resources, but our core resource is called A Simple Guide to Daily Devotions.  Each week a portion of Martin’s Luther Small Catechism is assigned for the home to memorize that week.  All of the other items assigned for the week are chosen to correspond to the theme brought forth by the Small Catechism.

We are thankful to see more emphasis being placed upon the use of the Catechism in the home. We seek to specifically help those leading devotions in the home to have an easy way to begin that does not require much thought before the time of devotions begin in the home.

 With our core resource, a copy of Lutheran Service Book and a Bible, one has everything they need for a year’s worth of devotions in the home.  Best of all, our core resource is free and can be downloaded and then printed off from our website.

You can also keep in contact with us through our Facebook page and on Twitter.

The resource includes a Memory Work and Hymns Chart illustrated below. You can see how easy it is to follow:

Here are questions and answers in the resource: “A Simple Approach to Daily Devotions.”

Why do daily devotions?

The Scriptures make it very clear that parents are to teach the faith to their children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

How are we to approach this task?

Our faith should be evident to our children as they watch us, talk to us, and play with us. However, regular time must also be set aside daily specifically aimed at passing along the faith to them. In this time, we read together, pray together, memorize together, and sing together. This ensures that all family members participate in the time of Daily Prayer.

Who should lead this time of Daily Prayer?

God’s Word teaches us that fathers and husbands are given the responsibility of bringing up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. If they are not present or willing, mothers are called by God to lead her children. Daily Prayer is essential to a Christian’s life and faith.

Why this resource?

This short resource was created to make leading Daily Prayer as easy as possible. With this, your Bible, and your hymnal (Lutheran Service Book), you are ready to start.

What should I do first?

First, you will need to choose a time of the day to do devotions that works best for your family. We suggest at the beginning or end of the day. Guard this time.

What now?

Get out your Bible, your hymnal and review the chart inside this resource. Then go to the back of this resource for step by step instructions. Start the habit of daily prayer today. Whenever you start, start with week one on the chart.

What happens when I forget?

Confess your sins to Jesus, receive his forgiveness, and he will raise you up to new life. Walk in that newness of life as you return to your habit of daily prayer. You may also find someone your trust and ask them to encourage you in this habit.


Catechism Prayer Page — Brilliant, Simple, Fatherly. From Member Erich Heidenreich

After Morning Prayer with Marilyn and three of our grandchildren, Signe, Brynja, and Garrick (Gunny), this morning, I came to our Facebook group, and waiting for us all was this dear gift from one of our members, Erich Heidenreich.

Erich gave permission to post it here on the website blog. We present here:

Later on we will get it onto the Reading Plans page as well so that you can find it anytime you want it. He posted:

In accordance with Luther’s instructions for praying the Catechism’s primary texts morning and evening, I have the following printed on single sheets of paper for bedside and table use in our home. I know you all know these texts, but I thought I’d provide the simple texts below to make it easy to copy and paste them into a document of your own to print for your family’s personal use too. [smile emoticon ]You may wish to switch it to whichever translation you are familiar with. This is the 1991 translation with minor modification.

We also recite one or more of the meanings each week from another sheet I print on the back, updated every few weeks with more meanings, which allows us to get through the entire catechism sequentially at least yearly.

Here is some of his explanation.

These primary texts provide law and gospel in such a simple and trustworthy manner. I pray in this manner every morning and night from memory (and during the day when I have time) and it takes as little as 90 seconds. Of course we can and should do more, but we don’t always succeed. This is the bare minimum of prayer and devotion that I teach my family to never fail to do every day of their life. I pray they pass on this habitus to their children and grandchildren. It should be as much a habit as brushing our teeth, yet it is infinitely more important, and so it should start from infancy. Of course it takes longer than 90 seconds if you pause to ponder each line, and when I have extra prayers I pray them between the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, always ending with the comfort of Luther’s morning or evening prayer, commending all things into God’s loving hands.

At the present time we also are using Gerhard’s Meditations on Divine Mercy along with Stark’s Prayer Book for family devotions.

He also quoted a portion of the Introduction to Luther’s Large Catechism that gives further incitement to this practice. You can read that in the group or online at here.

Here is his text to make it convenient for you to copy, paste, and adapt should you wish to do that.

Make the sign of the cross in the Name of the Father, Son †, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

1 You shall have no other gods.

2 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

3 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

4 Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

5 You shall not murder.

6 You shall not commit adultery.

7 You shall not steal.

8 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

10 You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, maidservant, ox, or donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen


I thank You, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that you would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your Holy Angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.


I thank You, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day, and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your Holy Angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Bulletin Insert – One Church-Year Catechism Reading Plan

A recent post on this blog published and explained one church-year catechism reading plan contributed by a pastor. We have formulated it into a ready-to-print bulletin insert. Please feel free to use it and pass it around if it would be suitable for you.

If you have reading plans for using the Small Catechism in the home, would you consider sharing them? There is no one size that fits all. If we can provide a variety of ready-made plans, each person and each family can chose the one most suitable for them. It is not important which plan people use. What is important is that they have a plan, and that it is a plan they actually will use because it suits their situation.

A new page has been created here, “Reading Plans,” to gather together whatever plans we obtain.

One Church-Year Catechism Reading Plan

Previously this site presented “One Simple Weekly Catechism Reading Plan.” We also offered a bulletin insert for promoting that plan.

When one pastor saw that plan discussed on Facebook, he sent a private message. He said he liked that weekly plan and that in his own private devotions, he too covered a chief part of the Small Catechism every day. But, he said, in the family setting, he found it a bit much with his young daughter. He said:

I have devised a schedule spreading out Small Catechism readings over the course of the church year. I think it is a good thing because not only does it reestablish the Small Catechism in the home, but it is also reasserting the Church’s time over the school year and other secular ways we measure our time. I think the schedule adds another structural benefit to home catechesis. I have found it immensely helpful with my family.

This pastor sent me a copy of his schedule, and it does just what he said. For young children, this is like spoon sized shredded wheat instead of the whole biscuit (if you remember those, wax paper and all). He solved the problem.

I asked permission to publish his church-year catechism reading plan. He replied:

Yes, go ahead, and do not credit me.  I consider this more a “discovery” on my part rather than anything I invented.  It pieced itself together marvelously.  Sundays frequently skipped during the church year have Table of Duties passages which I think can be safely omitted from time to time.

Add him to the ranks of the No-Name Evangelistic Association. I would like to credit him, but not doing so was his stipulation. Our Father knows who he is, and you can pray that our Father will bless mightily his catechetical practice in private, with his family, and in his congregation.

Here is his plan, which will be a good fit for many of you.

Luther’s Small Catechism Schedule for the Home
“As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.”

Advent 1 1st Commandment and Meaning
Advent 2 2nd Commandment and Meaning
Advent 3 3rd Commandment and Meaning
Advent 4 4th Commandment and Meaning
Christmas 1 5th Commandment and Meaning
Christmas 2 Duties – To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers
(1 Timothy 3:2-4, 1 Timothy 3:6, Titus 1:9)
Epiphany 1 Duties – What Hearers Owe Their Pastors
(1 Cor. 9:14, Galatians 6:5-7, 1 Tim 5:17-18)
Epiphany 2 Duties – What Hearers Owe Their Pastors
(1 Thess. 5:12-13, Hebrews 13:17)
Epiphany 3 Duties – Of Civil Government (Romans 13:1-4)
Epiphany 4 Duties – Of Citizens
(Matt. 22:21, Romans 13:5-7, 1 Tim. 2:1-3)
Epiphany 5 Duties – Of Citizens (Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13-14)
Transfiguration 6th Commandment and Meaning
Septuagesima 7th Commandment and Meaning
Sexagesima 8th Commandment and Meaning
Quinquagesima 9th Commandment and Meaning
Lent 1 10th Commandment and Meaning
Lent 2 Close of Commandments and Meaning
Lent 3 Review of Ten Commandments
Lent 4 First Article of Creed and Meaning
Lent 5 First Article of Creed and Meaning
Palm Sunday Second Article of Creed and Meaning
Easter Second Article of Creed and Meaning
Easter 2 Third Article of Creed and Meaning
Easter 3 Third Article of Creed and Meaning
Easter 4 Introduction to Lord’s Prayer and Meaning
Easter 5 First Petition and Catechism Questions
Easter 6 Second Petition and Catechism Questions
Easter 7 Third Petition and Catechism Questions
Pentecost Fourth Petition and Catechism Questions
Trinity Sunday Fifth Petition and Meaning
Trinity 1 Sixth Petition and Meaning
Trinity 2 Seventh Petition and Meaning
Trinity 3 Conclusion of Lord’s Prayer and Meaning
Trinity 4 Sacrament of Baptism – First Questions
Trinity 5 Sacrament of Baptism – Second Questions
Trinity 6 Sacrament of Baptism – Third Question
Trinity 7 Sacrament of Baptism – Fourth Questions
Trinity 8 Confession – What is Confession?
Trinity 9 Confession – What sins should we confess?
Trinity 10 Confession – Which ae these?
Trinity 11 Confession – What is the Office of the Keys?
Trinity 12 Confession – Where is this written?
Trinity 13 Confession – What do you believe according to these words?
Trinity 14 Sacrament of the Altar – What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
Trinity 15 Sacrament of the Altar – Where is this written?
Trinity 16 Sacrament of the Altar – What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?
Trinity 17 Sacrament of the Altar – How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?
Trinity 18 Sacrament of the Altar – Who receives this Sacrament Worthily?
Trinity 19 Duties – To Husbands (1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:19)
Trinity 20 Duties – To Wives (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:5-6)
Trinity 21 Duties – To Parents (Ephesians 6:4)
Trinity 22 Duties – To Children (Ephesians 6:4)
Trinity 23 Duties – To Workers of All Kinds (Ephesians 6:5-8)
Trinity 24 Duties – To Employers and Supervisors (Eph. 6:9)
Trinity 25 Duties – To Youth (1 Peter 5:5-6)
Trinity 26 Duties – To Widows (1 Timothy 5:5-6)
Last Sunday Duties – To Everyone (Romans 13:9, 1Timothy 2:1)

Bulletin Insert – One Simple Weekly Catechism Reading Plan

In response to the post, “One Simple Catechism Reading Plan,” a pastor commented on Facebook that he was going to print the post as a bulletin insert. If that reading plan has value for his congregation, then perhaps it also has value for other congregations. So here is a link to a revision of the post content and a reformatting of it into a ready-to-print bulletin insert. Please feel free to use it and pass it around if it would be suitable for you.

Another pastor commented that the one week plan looks good to him for the head of the family and for adults in their personal readings, but for family readings with children as young as his, he thought it bit off too much per session. He already had developed a schedule that spread the catechism over a year and tied it to the church calendar. It is brilliant. You’ve got to see it. Having obtained his permission, after some formatting, his schedule will be posted on this site in the near future.

If you have reading plans for using the Small Catechism in the home, would you consider sharing them? There is no one size that fits all. If we can provide a variety of ready-made plans, each person and each family can chose the one most suitable for them. It is not important which plan people use. What is important is that they have a plan, and that it is a plan they actually will use because it suits their situation.

A new page is being created here, “Reading Plans,” to keep whatever plans we can gather handy on the menu from any page on this site.

One Simple Catechism Reading Plan

Luther kept reading the Small Catechism every day.

It is a prayer book and a meditation book and a life book. It keeps offering more for prayer, meditation, and living. It comes to us in daily life, when we know it well, frequently think on it, and pray from it.

There are many good reading plans for growth in prayer, meditation, and living from the catechism. Here is one that is simple and realistic for a person just starting.

If you miss a day, don’t condemn yourself. The part you missed will come again next week. Today you can read the little part for this day, never mind whatever might have happened yesterday. God will bless you with wisdom without upbraiding you about yesterday. He will give liberally, generously, ungrudgingly. He will give without reproach, without criticizing, and without rebuke (James 1:5 — KJV, NKJV, ESV, NABRE, ISV, NET). If you ask for bread, your Father will not give you a stone. (Matthew 7:9). If you ask for a fish, He will not give you a snake (Luke 11:11). If you ask for an egg, He will not give you a scorpion (Luke 11:12).

Monday Ten Commandments
Tuesday Creed
Wednesday Lord’s Prayer
Thursday Sacrament of Baptism
Friday Sacrament of the Altar
Saturday Table of Duties
before Divine Service
Christian Questions with Their Answers
anytime later in the day
Each Morning Morning Prayer
Each Evening Evening Prayer