Monday, 20 April 2009

CRANMER'S EASTER COLLECT PREACHES AGAINST HYPOCRISY

The Collect for the Sunday after Easter shows just how biblical the Church of England fundamentally is. Cranmer's Curate wonders whether this Collect was used in Southwark Cathedral after its Dean, the Very Revd Colin Slee, questioned the Anglican credentials of the orthodox bishops of Rochester, Lewes and Willesden in his annual report distributed on Easter Sunday.

The Common Worship Collect for Easter 2 is based on the Book of Common Prayer Collect for the Sunday after Easter, though there is an alternative, blander CW Collect. Here is the wonderful Collect in the version in which Thomas Cranmer composed it in the Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Cranmer derived this post-Easter Collect from the Apostle Paul's command to the wayward church at Corinth: 'Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth' (1 Corinthians 5v7-8 - RSV).

One feature of the old leaven, sadly at work in the Corinthian church, was its tolerance of sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, amongst professing Christians, leading the Apostle Paul to declare unequivocally in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 that the unrepentant 'unrighteous' will not inherit the kingdom of God (v9-10).

Southwark was the Cathedral that back in 1996 chose to host a 20th anniversary celebration for the Lesbian and Gay 'Christian' Movement. Cranmer's magisterial prayer intoned by the likes of Mr Slee could only echo in that place with hypocrisy.

As cc takes time out of the blogosphere for his post-Easter break, he has been asked by an American member of the youth group about the pronunciation of Oughtibridge. It's oo-tee-bridge. But cc tends to call it Booty Bridge - after a letter he once received from an estate agent.

Every blessing in Christ's service,

Julian Mann

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Julian, your point makes the discussions at Ugley Vicar and Fulcrum about resurrection redundant. I haven't forgotten about that piece I promised you. Hav a good break
    Tim

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  2. Thanks for the reminder of "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

    Because of my love for the aroma of fresh baked leavened bread, it has always bothered me that it is regarded as less than unleavened bread and in some way tainted by the yeast and their products of fermentation.

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