Saturday, October 02, 2010

Long Ago and Far Away: Thomas Cranmer, author of the Prayer Book

Although to many of us it may all seem long ago and far away, we should thank God for Thomas Cranmer as we observe the 500th anniversary of his birth on 2nd July, 1489. To this day we benefit from his work.

Cranmer was the son of a village squire in Nottinghamshire. He excelled with the longbow and was a master horseman from his youth. Following a harsh early education he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, then newly founded. After taking the M.A. degree he married Joan, a Cambridge girl. When she died in childbirth he was restored to his fellowship at Jesus College and ordained. His subsequent B.D. and D.D. degrees were the fruit of painstaking and assiduous study.

He longed to pursue the quiet reflective life of a scholar but was suddenly summoned to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533. Later he said, “there never was man came more unwillingly to a bishopric than I did to that.”

We may identify three particular reasons to honour the memory of Thomas Cranmer: he was a man of the Bible, a preaching theologian and a superb liturgiologist.

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Reformation Sunday is October 31, 2010, All Hallow's Eve. How are you and your church planning to celebrate the occasion?


RMBruton said...

I doubt whether Episcopalians, Continuing-Episcopalians or
Continuing-Anglicans will give Reformation Sunday a second thought.

Charles Morley said...

Reformation Sunday has been celebrated by the Traditional Protestant Episcopal CHurch for the past twenty-five years. "Ecclesia catholica semper reformanda."

Joe Mahler said...

Reformation Sunday should be celebrated using a reformed liturgy, such as the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. All American Prayer Books since 1892 are in fact in the camp of the Oxfordians especially the 1928 BCP.

Reformation said...

@RM Bruton: let's see if TEC, ACNA, Continuuers, or our favourite source for "all things Anglican," Virtue, will cover. You are correct.

@Charles Morley: bravo for TPEC. A fellow beacon in this dark exile.

@Joe: While I think the 1873 REC BCP had improvements, there are some 1662 BCP matters that are substantive. As an Exilic Anglican, I work with it daily and find the lections satisfying (
and quite demanding if notes are taken) along with singing the Canticles and Psalms. I could say more. This much, the AMiA work where I attempted to worship--charismania and 79 BCP are show-stoppers.

@RM, let's monitor this situtation. All of us...let's see who remembers Reformation Day. Charles has for 25 years to his credit. Some of us for longer than that. About 33-34 years here. But, as for Continuuers, who has done that longer--in this nation--than Charles Morley? Who?