Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Theological Word of the Day: Vouchsafe

In the 1662 Book of Common Prayer the word "vouchsafe" often occurs in the liturgical readings for the day.  In fact, in the Morning Prayer service for today it occurs in the Te Deum Laudemus prayer.  The title is in Latin and means, "Thee O God We Praise."  

While this prayer is used in Latin in the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Cranmer retained the prayer because of its ancient use.  However, Cranmer translated and retained this prayer to show certain Evangelical and Biblical lines in the prayer when he translated the prayer from Latin into English.  One of those lines, which is clearly Evangelical is, "When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death : thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers."  The Latin says:  "Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum."  In other words, Cranmer sought to show that the ancient prayers of the catholic church (little "c") were not Roman Catholic per se but Evangelical and in agreement with the Protestant Reformation, which was a Christian humanist movement to restore the church to its biblical foundations and to reform the traditions of men which had been unjustly added in direct contradiction to Holy Scripture.

Also this line is clearly meant to convey an Augustinian and even Calvinist flavor to the prayer:  "Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin."   These latter lines are taken from the Psalms and were added at a later date.  The Latin here says:  "Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire."  "Dignare" is the Latin word translated by Cranmer as "vouchsafe".

The word "vouchsafe" here means something like "grant us the grace".  In other words it is a prayer that God would grant or give us the grace today to not commit any serious and/or grievous sins.  Since no one is absolutely sinless (1 John 1:8-10; Romans 3:23), the intent here is conscious and deliberate sins of either omission (James 4:17) or commission (Romans 7:20) since sins committed in ignorance (Leviticus 4:2-3; Leviticus 5:15, 18) are out of our consciousness.  Although, I do concede that God can and does keep us from sins committed in ignorance as well (Philippians 2:12-13).

The theological word for today: 


[vouch-seyf] Show IPA verb, vouch·safed, vouch·saf·ing.
verb (used with object)
1.  to grant or give, as by favor, graciousness, or condescension: to vouchsafe a reply to a question.
2.  to allow or permit, as by favor or graciousness: They vouchsafed his return to his own country.

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