We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Before continuing the thoughts of the last post, happy happenstance has intervened. One of the most noted peculiarities of 1552 is the radical disordering. Some people assume that this was simply polemical in nature, or Cranmer's attempt to counter Gardiner's assertions (if only he had kept his mouth shut). But if radical disordering was all that was wanted, then anything goes might have prevailed. But it, most obviously, did not.

Could there have been an unrecognized theological motive for the insertion of the Prayer of Humble Access immediately after the Sanctus? One writer highlights an intriguing thought (p. 106):

I was prone to be dubious until Father D -- it's not all satire, you know -- shared the following, from Saint Ephrem the Syrian:

The Eucharist as Burning Coal (Isaiah 6:6)

In your bread hides the Spirit that cannot be consumed;
in your wine is the fire that cannot be drunk.
The Spirit in your bread, the fire in your wine:
This is the wonder that our lips welcome.
The seraph could not get his fingers close to the hot coal,
which was only held close to Isaiah’s mouth;
his fingers did not take it, nor did the lips swallow it;
yet for our sake the Lord deigned to do both things.
The fire rained down with anger to destroy the sinners,
but the fire of grace comes down on the bread and remains there.
Instead of the fire that destroyed man,
we have eaten the fire in the bread and we have been revived.

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