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Monday, March 21, 2016
For All the Saints: Thomas Cranmer
In the Anglican Communion and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) is honored today. He was Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI and part of the reign of Mary I. As archbishop, especially during Edward's reign, he made significant reforms to the Church of England, writing the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, and establishing doctrine in, for instance, the Thirty-Nine Articles. Earlier he helped establish the English monarch as sovereign over the English church. During Mary's reign, he was imprisoned for heresy and treason, during which time he recanted his earlier views, but he finally withdrew his recantations and was executed as a heretic.