Cranmer and the Collects

Donald Gray

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Cranmer and the Collects

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In the days before universal literacy, linguistic style was most chiefly influenced by that which was heard being read aloud. The place where everyone was subject to this was in church at worship. The first major dose of this wholesome and improving medicine was administered by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) through the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The collects provide a rich source of the Archbishop's art. The collect is a short and particular type of prayer that is a feature of the worship of Western Christianity. It asks for one thing and one thing only, and that in the tersest of language. To be good, it must have colour, rhythm, finality, a certain conciseness as well as vigour of thought; but it must be a united petition or it becomes something else rather than a collect.

Keywords: prayer book; Thomas Cranmer; Anglicanism; Western Christianity; Collect

Article.  7011 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity ; Philosophy of Religion

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