Tuesday, October 16, 2007

History not to be repeated

Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer

At an embarrassing point in Church history when people were burned at the stake by other Christians who opposed them theologically, the three men who gave us the Book of Common Prayer suffered such fate. Latimer and Ridley were killed at Oxford on October 16, 1555 at the order of Queen Mary of England, and Cranmer died likewise six months later. It is a very long and involved story worthy of late night reading in the dead of winter.

We are still using the Prayer Book which contains Cranmer's Great Litany, and we still commemorate Latimer's last words to Ridley: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as (I trust) shall never be put out."

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, that, like your servants, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, we may live in your fear, die in your favor, and rest in your peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ you Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

In peace,
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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