From The Living Church-
This is the second in three posts about primitivism and how best to rediscover and resource from the past, especially the reformations of the 16th century, in a healthy way. The first post was largely about the nature of tradition. The challenge was to hold the familiar and the strange in tension, resisting the impulse (1) to classicize Cranmer as an idol, (2) to flatten him in ways to make him more appealing but less the man he really was, or (3) to reject him outright as foreign and alien. The third post will review possible responses along those lines. Here in this middle post, I want to help us see Cranmer with clarity by examining two things: briefly, Cranmer’s understanding of the Church as a body ruled by a divinely-appointed sovereign and then, with more detail, his eucharistic theology and practice offered up in the 1552 Holy Communion service.