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Of Ceremonies

In light of yesterday’s post, Miranda brought to my attention this passage from Thomas Cranmer:

Whereas in this our time the minds of men are so divers, that some think it a great matter of conscience to depart from a piece of the least of their Ceremonies, they be so addicted to their old customs; and again on the other side, some be so new-fangled that they would innovate all things, and so despise the old, that nothing can like them but that is new: It was thought expedient, not so much to have respect how to please and satisfy either of these parties, as how to please God, and profit them both.

Thomas Cranmer, “Of Ceremonies, Why Some Be Abolished and Some Retained,” 1549 and 1552 Prayer books.

The frame of the debate sounds pretty familiar. Of course the specifics of what is abolished and retained have changed since Cranmer’s time. I’d like to think that Cranmer himself would probably approve of this.

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