Some Straight Talk on Cranmer
Certain critics of St. Tikhon's Liturgy use this "logic":
St. Tikhon's Liturgy is in some way related to the Book of Common Prayer;
The Book of Common Prayer was written by Thomas Cranmer, who was a heretical Protestant; therefore
St. Tikhon's Liturgy is heretical and Protestant.
In addition to being condescending toward the Church -- do our critics think the Holy Synod of Russia, the Patriarch of Antioch, the Patriarch of Alexandria, ROCOR, and others did not thoroughly investigate the rite before setting out guidelines and approving its celebration within Orthodoxy?? -- this "reasoning" is also just plain wrong. Our friend The Continuing Anglican Churchman points out the second premise is completely false:
I am almost finished reading the MacCulloch's biography on Thomas Cranmer...My thoughts on Cranmer after reading this have changed. I guess I do not see him as a great liturgical genius. He did not write the BCP from scratch. It is better to say that he compiled it, as he borrowed from ancient, medieval, and contemporary sources. To be sure, he did write certain parts of it - certain prayers here and there...but much of the rest of it was borrowed from other sources. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, mind you, but it only goes to show that he was not some "fountain" of fine liturgy in and of himself.The Book of Common Prayer was never simply "Cranmer's Rite"; he drew from ancient practices, particularly the Sarum Use the BCP displaced in 1549. He did not even complete the 1549 BCP by himself but had the assistance of others who did not share his views and did not allow him to have a free hand on the resultant liturgy.
Remember both the fallacious logic and the faulty premise the next time you hear St. Tikhon's Liturgy described only as "the Cranmerian Rite."
Finally, I'll throw this quotation in for my friend, the Inquisitor:
I used to feel sorry for him since he was martyred under Mary, along with Latimer and the others, at Oxford. I mean, who can't feel sorry for a martyr? But I actually learned that he had people burned at the stake (traditionalists, anabaptists, etc.) too when he was in power. So it seems that he got what he deserved. It is funny, because this morning the Psalm appointed for the morning office in the 1928 BCP is Psalm 18, which speaks of one being rewarded according to his works.I can only imagine how much IG will appreciate living that vicariously.
Labels: Anti-WR Criticism