Friday, January 31, 2014

Archbishop Cranmer and the Prayer Book Tradition

5 comments:

An Anxious Anglican said...

Thank you for posting, Fr. Bryan! The video delightfully combines substance and style in a concise package just in time for our confirmation class session on the English Reformation!

Is there any chance we could download a copy of this video for local offline non-commercial use here at Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax?

Grace and peace,
Bill

Bryan Owen said...

Thanks for your comment, Bill.

I'm not sure how to answer your question. I note that the video was put together by the All Souls Anglican Foundation, so that would be the place to find out about downloading this video for offline use. A quick Google search shows that this Foundation is located in Oklahoma City. But I haven't come across any phone numbers or email addresses.

Best of luck in finding an answer to your question and with your English Reformation confirmation class!

Bill Sheppard said...

Netvideohunter an addon for Firefox will help you download the video Bill.

regards,

Bill

Paul Anthony Preussler said...

This is a cute video, but I do think we should avoid lionizing Cranmer as a sort of Anglican Martin Luther. The reality is, our church does have somewhat ignominious beginnings, and Cranmer, in burning someone at the stake for a position he later adopted, comes across as even more a villain in the Reformation than John Calvin. I would also argue that the early BCP created more problems than it solved; many people of both the high church and low church orientation were killed in the controversies involving its enforced use.

Now that said, many services in it are lovely, Evensong, Morning Prayer, and the service of Holy Matrimony in particular. I would observe as liturgies go however that the 1549 BCP and its 1662 successor were particularly unpleasant when it came to the Eucharist; the service of Holy Communion, in contrast to the Latin mass and the Eastern divine liturgies, is clearly written to be said and not to be sung, and contains substantial awkward language, the Black Rubric, and other unpleasantness.

Surely it would have been better to allow the evangelical and Catholic-leaning elements within the Church of England to worship in their own ways, rather than the huge loss of life that resulted from the enforcement of the early BCP.

Of course the modern BCP is a very different animal, and the Episcopal Church would be much healthier if it were actually used universally, throughout the Church, and its rubrics consistently and properly observed. However, this BCP is the process of a reform process that took many centuries to accomplish, and if we glorify Cranmer, I feel like we're trivializing the accomplishments of the Caroline Divines, the Oxford Movement, and modern day Anglo Catholics, in working to restore the Apostolic faith in England, repairing both the damage done by the Roman church during its tragic corrupt period after the Great Schism of 1054, and the damage inflicted by the influence of extreme Calvinism.

Bryan Owen said...

Hi Paul. I think you make a number of good points. But in watching this video, I didn't come away thinking that it was 'lionizing' Thomas Cranmer so much as offering a (simplified, to be sure!) perspective on how and why the Prayer Book came to be.

There's no question that the Prayer Book tradition is complicated and that there are tragic moments in our history. Along those lines, you might find my posting "Revisiting Conflict and Innovation in the Prayer Book Tradition" interesting.