Cranmer's Godly Order

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Cranmer's Godly Order
Liturgical Revolution: Vol. I
by Michael Davies

They created a wasteland, and called it “renewal”

Michael Davies shows that Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer understood that if you change the way people pray, then you will change what they believe. Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer (1549) began a process that changed the Catholic Church in England to the Anglican sect. Davies compares these changes to the modern liturgical "reforms" and the similarities are shocking.

Cranmer's Godly Order is a classic...revised and expanded by Mr. Davies during his final years. Drawing upon the best of Catholic and Protestant scholarship and on primary sources, Davies traces the steps by which the ancient Catholic Mass became the Lord's Supper in the Church of England. And these steps were changes - as Popes and Reformers alike were at pains to stress.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII and Edward VI and architect of the new liturgy, was a master of the theology of the Mass, and hated it. The parallels between the Anglican liturgy and the New Mass of the 1960s will be uncomfortably obvious!

The Second Vatican Council and its aftermath accomplished, in less than a decade, a revolution in the Catholic Church. With predictable results. Liberals welcomed the revolution with guarded enthusiasm: “It’s a beginning…”

Rank -and-file Catholics had mixed responses: confusion, relief at the easier discipline, shock at the easier discipline, apathy, and a readiness to give up going to church. Traditional Catholics regret the changes—some merely dragging their heels, others with bitter resistance.

Among the loyal opposition, no one has written more trenchantly than British convert Michael Davies. The liturgy is his special interest; but he sees the Old Mass not simply as beautiful ceremonial, but as the cutting edge of Catholic belief.

In Volume I of his imposing trilogy, Liturgical Revolution, Mr. Davies recalls how the Old Mass was once before taken from English-speaking Catholics. Cranmer’s Godly Order is a model of historical synthesis. Drawing upon the best of Catholic and Protestant scholarship and on primary sources (the Sarum Missal, the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and the writings of the leading Protestant Reformers), Davies traces the steps by which the ancient Catholic Mass became the Lord’s Supper in the Church of England. And these steps were changes—as popes and Reformers alike were at pains to stress. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII and architect of the new liturgy, was a master of the theology of the Mass, and hated it.

Mr. Davies does not underscore the parallels between the introduction of the Anglican liturgy and the introduction of the New Mass in the late 1960s. But the parallels will be obvious—and far from reassuring to traditional Catholics contemplating the New Mass (the validity of which author Davies has always affirmed).


The first edition of this book, and of Vols. II and III in Davies’ Liturgical Revolution trilogy, drew the highest praise:

“Monumental…should be read by all serious students of the contemporary malaise…”—Paul Hallett, National Catholic Register

“A masterpiece.”—Introibo


Hardcover Enriched with over 40 historical illustrations