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Anglican Liturgical Practices

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Chapter Summary

The English Reformation involved a series of attempts to reshape eucharistic practices. Two waves of reform under Edward VI substantially changed the liturgy. Anglican reforms to eucharistic practice began late and were, in the end, not as thoroughgoing as Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the Book of Common Prayer, sought. The basic reformation principles he enshrined, finally, in the 1552 prayer book's Eucharist were undercut by ceremonialists in the first part of the seventeenth century and substantially undermined after 1662. Communion tables initially replaced altars, only later to be relocated and railed in where the altars once had stood. In 1552, the leftover bread and wine were to be treated in a way that underscored consecration had worked no durable change in them, while after 1662 they were treated with a reverence that suggested an essential change had taken place.

Keywords: Anglican liturgical practices; communion tables; Edward VI; Thomas Cranmer

10.1163/9789004260177_015
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