Monday, 21 March 2011

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop and Martyr

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again: Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood ..."

Today is the 455th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

To him we undoubtedly owe much that is good (and some that is not so good) about the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion.

Above all, in my view, Cranmer gave us an inestimable liturgy, especially in his 1552 service of the Lord's Supper. For a guide to what this entailed I still think you can hardly do better than to read Colin Buchanan's little Grove Booklet What did Cranmer think he was doing? Why not order it today in commemoration?

(Acknowledgements to the other Cranmer for pointing this out.)

Please give a full name and location when posting. Comments without this information may be deleted.


  1. Rather than the Grove booklet, may I suggest another Buchanan book, 'An Evangelical Among the Anglican Liturgists'. It's only slightly more expensive (especially second hand) and contains the full text of 'what did Cranmer think he was doing' plus a wide variety of other essay on Anglican evangelical sacramental theology.

  2. One of the best short articles on Cranmer that I've read in a few years.

    He gets the "via media" concept right, to wit, a middle way between Lutheran and Reformed theologies...rather than the Tractarian mishandlings as between Romanism and Protestantism.

    Peter handles the topic ably and accurately.

    Donald Philip Veitch