March 21st is the anniversary of the death of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, a scholar, and a leader in reviving vernacular liturgy in English. In a reading posted today on Episcopal Café from “Thomas Cranmer after Five Hundred Years,” Roger Beckwith praises Cranmer’s English liturgical style:
…Though owing something to its Latin antecedents, and sharing the redundancies and antitheses characteristic of existing religious English, it achieves the difficult art of being contemporary without being colloquial, of having dignity without sacrificing vigour, and of expressing fervor without lapsing into sentimentality.
You can read the complete excerpt here.
Our thanks to reader Steve Schewe, who brought this to our attention. –ed.