A Reformation Model of Worship: The Traditional Anglican Liturgy (1662)

The Reform of the liturgy in England began in 1540 under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer. The Book of Common Prayer was revised again in 1552, and a final revision was completed in 1662. The service below is from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

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Anglican Worship in the Reformation Era

Anglican worship has a variegated history, having fluctuated between worship forms similar to those of Catholicism and worship influenced by the Puritans. This accounts in part for the variations in worship within the Anglican communion of today. Nevertheless, The Book of Common Prayer is basic to all Anglican churches.

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Influence of Thomas Cranmer

The death of Henry in 1547 made it possible for Cranmer and King Edward VI to carry the ecclesiastical changes further. Cranmer directed the clergy to read the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer weekly in the churches, together with a chapter from the Old Testament and another from the New. A new edition of the Bible, known as the Great Bible, was placed in every church, and the priests were supplied with homilies for popular instruction. The organization of the church was left virtually unchanged, however. The two archbishops of Canterbury and York remained under the pope, and the Episcopal arrangement of bishops was not abolished. The king continued to be the head of the Church and made the appointments of bishops and archbishops.

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Cranmer, Thomas

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury, was born in Nottinghamshire, England, and studied at Jesus College, Cambridge for eight years. In 1523 he became a university preacher.

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