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date: 23 February 2018

Abstract and Keywords

In the days before universal literacy, linguistic style was most chiefly influenced by that which was heard being read aloud. The place where everyone was subject to this was in church at worship. The first major dose of this wholesome and improving medicine was administered by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) through the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The collects provide a rich source of the Archbishop's art. The collect is a short and particular type of prayer that is a feature of the worship of Western Christianity. It asks for one thing and one thing only, and that in the tersest of language. To be good, it must have colour, rhythm, finality, a certain conciseness as well as vigour of thought; but it must be a united petition or it becomes something else rather than a collect.

Keywords: prayer book, Thomas Cranmer, Anglicanism, Western Christianity, Collect

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