Small Catechism Memory and Flash Cards in 11 English Translations

Small Catechism memory cards and flash cards are great tools for learning by heart and meditating on the truths of Scripture “which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)

Since the launch of LutheranCatechism.com at the first of this year, I have been creating catechism memory cards in many English translations. The site has a page titled “Memory Cards” that can be accessed from the menu at the top of any page on the site. From that page, you can download PDF files containing the cards. Use the file for the translation you select to print the cards.

In the order of copyright date, the following translations are available:

  • 1912 Synodical Conference
  • 1921 Triglot English
  • 1956 NPH-WELS “Gausewitz”
  • 1979 NPH-WELS
  • 1992 CLBA-Faith & Fellowship
  • 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
  • 2001 ELS
  • 2004 Robert E. Smith
  • 2007 AFLC-Ambassador Publications
  • 2010 Sola Publishing / ReClaim Resources

 

I am still working on permissions for

  • The 2004 Church of the Lutheran Confession translation by Michael A. Sydow.
  • A translation still used in Australia. Copyright was held by Augsburg Publishing House. That publisher was merged into Fortress Press, which is researching whose permission is needed.

 

The cards I have created are quite simple. They are designed as standard 3” x 5” index cards, except for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland translation, which is sized for Europe. They are designed for simplex printing, which means printing on one side of card stock or paper. The question and the answer for each portion of the catechism are on the same side of the card.

Kris Brown of Kris Brown Designs has created enhanced sets of some of the translations. Hers have graphic images corresponding to the six chief parts of Christian doctrine. They are postcard size. They are designed for duplex printing, which means there is printing on both sides of the cards. The question for each portion of the catechism is on one side, and the answer is on the other side. She has created these for:

  • 1912 Synodical Conference
  • 1921 Triglot English
  • 1979 NPH-WELS

 

Kris has generously donated her labor and lets LutheranCatechism.com distribute these free to the world.

As Christian education director of my congregation, which is part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, I created the cards using the 1986 CPH translation, and had a local printer print and cut 100 sets for use within the congregation. This is within the limited copyright permission granted to congregations by CPH.

Just when I was ready to approach Concordia Publishing House to see what arrangement might be possible for use of its 1986 translation for general distribution, Bruce Kintz, CEO of CPH announced on Facebook that CPH EDU was releasing free printable memory and flash cards. I couldn’t help but exclaim on Bruce’s Facebook timeline, “Bravo, Bruce!”

On the CPH website itself, the announcement was made by Joe Willmann, Senior Instructional Designer. He said:

Have you ever wanted to use memory cards or flash cards to help teach the text of the Small Catechism to your student(s) but you found that the time involved to create the flash cards was daunting? We hear you! It can be a lot of work to create all of those index cards.

CPH is now offering printable flash cards as a free download. We are offering both Memory Cards (more appropriate for teaching) and Flash Cards (more appropriate for quizzing) to individuals and congregations.

The design of these new CPH cards is very nice, very attractive. It is obvious that considerable thought went into this product. If this is the translation you want, download your cards here.

One of the gratifying parts of this project has been the cordiality and readiness of Lutheran synods to grant permission to use their copyrighted texts. Lutherans of various stripes exhibited eagerness to see the Small Catechism propagated and learned.

The permissions I received were only for the memory cards project, and if I want to use the texts for other things, I need to go back to the copyright holders and ask for a new permission for any new project. But I have a strong sense that will not be a big problem so long as whatever uses I want to make of their texts will be given freely to the world. The most frequent question I was asked is, will you give the cards away for free. That’s how they all wanted it, and that is how it is, the Small Catechism on memory cards free to the world.

Dear readers, if you see or think of more formats or tools for using the Small Catechism, please contact me with your ideas. The atmosphere is right for extending the use of this gift Christ gave to the Church through Dr. Martin Luther.

About T. R. Halvorson

T. R. Halvorson was born in Sidney, Montana on July 14, 1953, baptized at Pella Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sidney, Montana on November 8, 1953, and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota in 1968. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Sidney, Montana. They have three sons and six grandchildren. T. R. farms at Wildrose, North Dakota, and is Deputy County Attorney in Sidney, Montana. He has been a computer programmer; and an author, conference speaker, instructor, and consultant to industry in online legal information. He is among the authors of the religion column in the Sidney Herald at Sidney, Montana. He is the Editor of LutheranCatechism.com.


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