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Formulary Friday: Archbishop Cranmer’s Immortal Bequest

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 4 Aug 2017

In our Reformation 500 resources, we celebrate the work of Thomas Cranmer in producing the Book of Common Prayer. This article from the Churchman archives reminds us of the evangelistic brilliance of Cranmer's great legacy.

The BCP is beloved by many for the beauty of its language, but its contribution to the growth of the church in England and beyond owes much more to its liturgical structure and reformed theology.

In this article from the Churchman archives, Samuel Leuenberger examines Cranmer’s work in putting together the BCP.  He shows how Cranmer was influenced by Continental reformers such as Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr, especially in the revised version of 1552. He reminds us of the miraculous circumstances which enabled the BCP to be adopted by the church despite England’s turbulent Reformation.

The article ends with a critique of the now-obsolete ASB (1980). I leave it for the reader to consider how Common Worship stands up to its venerable forebear.

Archbishop Cranmer’s Immortal Bequest:The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England:An Evangelistic Liturgy

Ros Clarke is Associate Director of Church Society

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