Preface of a Saint (1)
[Common of a Martyr]
[Common of a Pastor]
[Of the Holy Cross]
[For the Ministry II]
PRAYER (traditional language)
Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, that, like thy servants Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, that, like your servants Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, we may live in your fear, die in your favor, and rest in your peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
General Convention 2009 revised lessons for this commemoration, and provisionally removed Thomas Cranmer to be a separate commemoration.
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Last updated: 18 August 2018
BISHOP AND MARTYR (16 OCTOBER 1555)
BISHOP AND MARTYR (16 OCTOBER 1555)
When Henry the Eighth of England died, he left three heirs: his
son Edward and his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded
to the throne and was a staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were).
Under his rule, the church services, previously in Latin, were translated
into English, and other changes were made. When Edward died, the throne
passed to his sister Mary, who was firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs.
She determined to return England to union with the Pope. With more diplomacy,
she might have succeeded. But she was headstrong and would take no advice.
Her mother had been Spanish, and she determined to marry the heir to the
throne of Spain, not realizing how much her people (of all religious persuasions)
feared that this would make England a province of the Spanish Empire. She
insisted that the best way to deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics
as possible. (It is worth noting that her husband was opposed to this.)
In the course of a five-year reign, she lost all the English holdings on
the continent of Europe, she lost the affection of her people, and she
lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in England. Of the nearly
three hundred persons burned by her orders, the most famous are the Oxford
Martyrs, commemorated today.
Latimer was famous as a preacher. He was Bishop of Worcester (pronounced
WOOS-ter) in the time of King Henry, but resigned in protest against the
King's refusal to allow the Protestant reforms that Latimer desired. Latimer's
sermons speak little of doctrine; he preferred to urge men to upright
living and devoutness in prayer. But when Mary came to the throne, he
was arrested, tried for heresy, and burned together with his friend Nicholas
Ridley. His last words at the stake are well known: "Be of good cheer,
Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle
in England as I trust by God's grace shall never be put out."
Ridley became an adherent of the Protestant cause while a student at Cambridge.
He was a friend of Archbishop Cranmer and became private chaplain first
to Cranmer and then to King Henry. Under the reign of Edward, he became
bishop of Rochester, and was part of the committee that drew up the first
English Book of Common Prayer. When Mary came to the throne, he was arrested,
tried, and burned with Latimer at Oxford on 16 October 1555.
of Latimer & Ridley
Broad St., Oxford, marking the spot where Latimer & Ridley died.
by the web author.]
by James Kiefer