Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Thomas Cranmer *


O Lord our God, give us by your Holy Spirit a willing heart and a ready hand to use all your gifts to your praise and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

( Thomas Cranmer )


When o’er my sins I sorrow, Lord, I will look to thee
and hence my comfort borrow that thou wast slain for me;
Yea, Lord, thy precious blood was spilt for me, O most unworthy,
to take away my guilt.

Oh, what a marvellous offering! Behold, the Master spares
his servants, and their suffering and grief for them he bears.
God stoopeth from his throne on high; for me, his guilty creature,
he deigns as man to die.

My manifold transgression henceforth can harm me none
since Jesus’ bloody passion for me God’s grace hath won.
His precious blood my debts hath paid; of hell and all its torments
I am no more afraid.

Therefore I will forever give glory unto thee,
O Jesus, loving Saviour, for what thou didst for me.
I’ll spend my breath in songs of thanks for thy sad cry, thy sufferings,
thy wrongs, thy guiltless death.

( Jus­tus Ge­sen­i­us )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Thomas Cranmer: Hero or Villain?

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Thomas Cranmer who, as Archbishop of Canterbury saw the Church of England through its shift of allegiance from pope to king. He was the principal figure of the English Reformation and was primarily responsible for the first "Book of Common Prayer" of 1549 and for its first revision in 1552.

Cranmer was at Cambridge at the time the Reformation exploded into Germany. And he carefully studied the "Bible" and kept himself aware of the theological battles being waged by proponents of the Reformation.

When King Henry wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon dissolved, he selected Cranmer to be the one to prepare the King’s side in the matter. Cranmer presented the case for a dissolution of the marriage to universities in England, Germany, and Rome.

While in Germany, Cranmer met and married the daughter of Andreas Osiander. But on his return to England, he kept her hidden away.

The King saw to it that he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury when the position became vacant and Cranmer was consecrated on the thirtieth of March, 1533. Among his earliest acts was to declare the King’s marriage null and void. He then validated the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Her child, the future Queen Elizabeth I, was Cranmer’s godchild.

During the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer had a free hand in reforming the worship, doctrine, and practice of the Church. But at Edward’s death, Queen Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon had him in her sights. He was arrested, deprived, and degraded by the Queen who had remained a staunch Roman Catholic. He was burned at the stake on the twenty-first of March, 1556.

Cranmer remains controversial. Some laud him as a hero of the Reformation. Others paint him as a cowardly villain. I suppose we might hearken back to Luther, who stressed that all of us are “simul justus et peccator” (at one and the same time both saint and sinner).

Diarmaid MacCulloch, whose epic six hundred plus page biography of Cranmer, is the new standard, says: “As I have looked at what we know of Cranmer, I have also concluded that those who told the hero-narrative generally distorted fewer of the facts than those who told the villain narrative.”

Scripture. In the eighth chapter of "First Kings," at verses fifty-nine and sixty, Solomon prays to God:

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins, and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for liturgists and prayer writers.

... for poets. DETAILS

... for an end to racial discrimination in all lands and pray for those who are working to bring this about. DETAILS

... for people with Down Syndrome and those who live and work with them. DETAILS

... for puppeteers and puppet-makers. DETAILS

... for the safety of forestry workers; that the nations would put the careful management of our forests before the desire to make money from them; for an end to the destruction of our forests and for all who campaign to protect our forests, even to the point of risking their lives. DETAILS

... for the people of Kurdistan and Namibia who celebrate their national day today.

... for children who have been trafficked into prostitution, in particular for those girls being sold for sex in the Rohingya refugee camps of Bangladesh. DETAILS

... for people and animals recovering from surgery.

... for those whose homes have been damaged in storms.

... for civilians killed or injured in a rocket attack by rebels on a busy market in a government-held district of Syria's capital Damascus. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From "The Article of Justification"
in "From the Institution of a Christian Man"
by Thomas Cranmer:

As touching the order and cause of our justification, we think it convenient, that all bishops and preachers shall instruct and teach the people committed unto their spiritual charge, that this word justification signifies remission of our sins, and our acceptation or reconciliation into the grace and favour of God, that is to say, our perfect renovation in Christ.

Also, that sinners attain this justification by contrition and faith, joined with charity, after such sort and manner as is before mentioned and declared in the sacrament of penance. Not as though our contrition or faith, or any works proceeding thereof, can worthily merit or deserve to attain the said justification; for the only mercy and grace of the Father, promised freely unto us for his Son's sake, Jesus Christ, and the merits of his blood and passion, are the only sufficient and worthy causes thereof; and yet notwithstanding, to the attaining of the same justification, God requireth to be in us not only inward contrition, perfect faith and charity, certain hope and confidence, with all other spiritual graces and motions, which, as was said before, must necessarily concur in remission of our sins, that is to say, our justification; but also he requireth and commandeth us, that after we are justified, we must also have good works of charity and obedience towards God, in the observing and fulfilling outwardly of his laws and commandments. For although acceptation to everlasting life be conjoined with justification, yet our good works are necessarily required to the attaining of everlasting life. And we, being justified, are necessarily bound, and it is our necessary duty, to do good works, according to the saying of St. Paul, (Rom. viii.) We are bound not to live according to the flesh and to fleshly appetites; for if we live so, we shall undoubtedly be damned. And contrary, if we will mortify the deeds of our flesh, and live according to the Spirit, we shall be saved. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God. And Christ saith, If you will come to heaven, keep the commandments. And Saint Paul, speaking of evil works, saith, Whosoever commit sinful deeds, shall never come to heaven. Wherefore all good Christian people must understand and believe certainly, that God necessarily requireth of us to do good works commanded by him, and that not only outward and civil works, but also the inward spiritual motions and graces of the Holy Ghost, that is to say, to dread and fear God; to love God; to have firm confidence and trust in God; to invocate and call upon God; to have patience in all adversities; to hate sin ; and to have certain purpose and will not to sin again; and such other like motions and virtues. For Christ saith, We must not only do outward civil good works, but we must also have these aforesaid inward spiritual motions, consenting and agreeable to the law of God.


Merciful God, through the work of Thomas Cranmer you renewed the worship of your Church by restoring the language of the people, and through his death you revealed your power in human weakness: grant that by your grace we may always worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Comments are closed.