Archbishop Cranmer and the Prayerbook Tradition



8 thoughts on “Archbishop Cranmer and the Prayerbook Tradition

  1. Without doubt the Book of Common Prayer with the Thirty-Nine Articles, is simply one of the greatest historical pieces in English and British Christianity! And the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, is one of the greatest expressions of English Christian martyrdom, especially in the face of Medieval Catholicism!

    1. And the battle with Rome and the Papacy, may no longer be in blood (going both ways), but it is still nonetheless a fight for the historical expression and truth of the Church, and in many biblical and theological areas! This Jesuit pope “Francis” is surely a reminder of this for me anyway!

  2. Certainly the Book of Common Prayer and indeed the King James version of the bible are two of the greatest treasures of Anglican Liturgy and worship. There have been many revisions of the BPC all over the Communion and these were not received by many who had become accustomed to the beautiful language of this product of ++Cranmer’s work. Many would argue that the BCP was essentially a prayerbook for the Church of England. Historically it has been the Book used by Anglicans in former colonies of Britain where the Church of England was established e.g. Canada, Australia and South Africa to name but a few.
    With the Liturgical reforms since Vatican 11 many Anglicans felt that the language of the BCP was not “accessible” to people whose first language wasn’t English. Some of the Liturgical “re- writes” are now used in most parts of the Communion yet sadly, these have been a source of division rather than as an instument of unity in many cases, so much so that we have several jurisdictions of Anglicanism who will not use anything but these revised versions.Those who love the BPC will not use anything else.
    Personally I love the BCP Liturgy, especially in the Offices Morning and Evening Prayer and more particularly in the Eucharist. Sadly most parishes in the Diocese in which I serve will only use the BAS ( Canada) and in my homeland South Africa, “An Anglican Prayer Book: 1989” is the norm in most parishes other than a handful who still use the BCP.
    Fr Robert rightfully says that the sad divisions of the Reformation between Anglicanism and the Church of Rome is a ‘fight’ for the historical expression and truth in the Church.
    As for the new Pope Francis and his stance on unity and brining the church out of the Vatican and more to the people, a former cleric of the TAC on the election of Francis said “watch this space”.
    If there is truly the desire to bring Christians together in one family, we may have to “watch and pray” for a very long time.
    It is sad that in this secular age, church-going isn’t on everyone’s priority list and the divisions we have will only continue to play into the hands of those who have embraced the secular doctrines which have crept into the life of the church since the Liturgical Reforms and social movements post 1960.
    How the new Pontiff will address these issues remains to be seen.
    Benedict X1V certainly acknowledged that the Anglicans who have come into full communion with the Church of Rome in the Ordinariate have much to offer in terms of Theology, Biblical scholarship, Liturgy and a host of other gifts that will enrich the catholic church as a whole.
    The issues which continue to divide the Church are may no longer just Liturgical or the question of validity of Orders, but are societal issues which have had a devastating effect on what has been previously described as “traditional Christian values.”
    What will happen if and when Pope Francis or his sucessors decide that the ordination of women for example is in keeping with what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church at this time? What if “inclusive language” did become the norm in future Liturgical reform to name but a few?
    As the old Chinese proverb says “May you live in interesting times” and I do believe that these are very interesting times.
    What we need to hold onto is the fact that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday , today and forever! ‘Christ is our cornerstone ‘ as the hymn writer says. It is only on Him alone that the church as a whole can be built and can grow into full unity which I, for one, believe that our Lord wants from us as His children.

    1. my understanding is that it is impossible for the RCC to ordain women – the Priest stands ‘in the Person of Christ’ and therefore only a male can represent HIM.
      as far as “inclusive language” is concerned – this is simply ‘political correctness’ and adds nothing for the ‘Glory of God’ – but rather has its origins in soothing human appetites.
      but it is so True when you say: that “Christ is our cornerstone and it is only on Him alone that the Church as a whole can be built and can grow into full Unity” – yes, Our Lord does want this, but only HE can bring this about–in HIS Way and in HIS Time!
      I personally believe that with the growing secularization of our culture and its myriad of attempts…in disintegrating ‘all things Christian’, will only serve to ‘unify Christians’ in the Faith and God can use this greatly at HIS disposal–toward UNITY.
      from God’s-point-of-view ALL is already ONE – it is we who cannot see the forest for the trees.

  3. Btw, I of course see a big gap and difference, especially theologically between Benedict/Ratzinger and “Francis”! To my mind “Francis” is the first real crack in/at the top of the Papacy! He makes Paul the VI look like a conservative! (Which in places at least he was). And with this crack, who knows what will come next in the RCC? In my opinion again, a South American Jesuit, was almost the worst thing the leadership of the Roman Church could have seen! And note, this pope “Francis” quite admitted the great gay people (lobby?) now in the Roman hierarchy! This is simply “rotten” in the midst of a church with such a long history and a central European (Western) base! Is the pope Italian! Seems long ago now! And I am not I hope speaking in any anti-Catholic sense! But at 64, and a onetime cradle Irish Roman Catholic, just where is the true Church of Roman Catholicism? I see more SSPX types in America these days, and many Traditional Catholics tell me, the great smoke (spoken by Paul VI btw) and now even apostasy has entered the so-called Holy Catholic Church! Note too, I have some close friends who are so-called Hebrew Catholics (Jewish born) Catholic converts. (See the AHC, Association Of Hebrew Catholics… Hebrew Catholics who believe in their “irrevocable calling” – Rom. 11: 29- as fulfilled Jews as Christians!)

  4. “What will happen if and when Pope Francis or his sucessors decide that the ordination of women for example is in keeping with what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church at this time? What if “inclusive language” did become the norm in future Liturgical reform to name but a few?”

    More likely, though, “what will happen when Pope Francis or one of his successors decides to proclaim magisterially and ex cathedra that the purported ordination of women is an impossibility, and an idea devised by the Father of Lies? What if “inclusive language” comes to be seen as the “language of Canaan,” foreign to that of Christ’s Church?” An Anglican who remains in sacramental fellowship with those who accept and perform the pretended ordination of women perhaps cannot envisage such a possibility, bleared as his eyes are by indifference to this satanic deception.

    1. Well both John Paul II, and Benedict/Ratzinger had that chance to speak from the so-called “Chair of Peter” on this subject, and strangely neither did it? And you can bank on the fact that so-called “Francis” won’t either! (In my opinion anyway!) The Holy Scripture already speaks on the subject, and its is a definite no go with or toward full “presbyters” for women at least! But, a case could be made for women “deacons”! (As with Phebe, Romans 16: 1-2, etc.) But that is not just a so-called office leading to the full presbyter either! Though in the case of a man, it could be, noting 1 Tim. 3: 10-13 / Acts 6: 3-5.

      Btw, it seems to me anyway, that the Jesuits have had their voices on “the language of Canaan” for quite sometime! Sorry got to call it the way I see it! (And I have a few Jesuit friends too. Though thank God there have been a few good one’s, like old Joe Fitzmyer, but he’s in his 90’s now.)

      And again, what about the “satanic deception”, or now just the outright “gay” and homosexualism right within (inside) the Roman hierarchy? And oh yes its quite there! I have myself met many in the hierarchy who have acknowledged it! (And this actually goes back years!)

      1. And what of the “prophecies” of St. Malachy (Irish btw), and his words about the so-called Last Pope? I know some traditional Catholics that think the RCC is there, perhaps. This is not my forte, but again who knows? The NT certainly speaks of “apostasy”!

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