Monday, March 21, 2011

Cranmer Blog: On this day, 455 years ago, Archbishop Cranmer was martyred

Plenty of good material, including two videos, on the genius of Anglicanism's Book of Common Prayer.

There are excerpts from a 2006 sermon by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at a 2006 commemoration of Cranmer's martyrdom, including

"...It led Cranmer - as it led so many others in that nightmare age, as it led the martyrs of our own age - Bonhoeffer, Maria Skobtsova, Janani Luwum - to something more than a contemplative silence: to a real death. When we say that the word of God is not bound, we say that death itself can be the living speech of God, as the Word was uttered once and for all in the silence at the end of Good Friday. Cranmer speaks, not only in the controlled passion of those tight balances and repetitions in his Prayer Book, but in that chilling final quarter of an hour. He ran through the downpour to the town ditch and held out his right hand, his writing hand, for a final composition, a final liturgy. And, because the word of God is not bound, it is as if that hand in the flames becomes an icon of the right hand of Majesty stretched out to us for defence and mercy."

This is the first video he shares. If you now or have ever used a BCP, I think you will be moved. And if you haven't, take a few moments and I think you will find some surprises in this:

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