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William Tyndale, priest, 1536

October 6, 2015
Not messing around.

Not messing around.

WILLIAM TYNDALE was born about 1495 at Slymbridge near the Welsh border. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Magdalen College, Oxford, and also spent some time in study at Cambridge. After his ordination, about 1521, he entered the service of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury, Gloucestershire, as domestic chaplain and tutor. In 1523 he went to London and obtained a similar position with a rich cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth.

Tyndale was determined to translate the Scriptures into English, but, despairing of official support, he left for Germany in 1524. From this point on, his life reads like a cloak-and-dagger story, as King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, and others, sought to destroy his work of translation and put him to death. He was finally betrayed by one whom he had befriended, and in Brussels, on October 6, 1536, he was strangled at the stake, and his body was burned.

William Tyndale was a man of a single passion, to translate the Bible into English; so that, as he said to a prominent churchman, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more scripture than thou dost.” His accomplished work is his glory. Before his betrayal and death, he had finished and revised his translation of the New Testament, and had completed a translation of the Pentateuch and of Jonah and, though he did not live to see them published, of the historical books from Joshua through 2 Chronicles. His work has been called “a well of English undefiled.” Some eighty per cent of his version has survived in the language of later and more familiar versions, such as the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611.

After the fashion of his time, Tyndale could be a bitter controversialist, and his translations sometimes had a polemical purpose. He was a lonely and desperate man, constantly hunted and hounded. In his personal life he was amiable and self-denying. His last words were prophetic: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”1

ACCEPT, O Lord, our thanksgiving this day for thy servant William Tyndale; and grant unto us in like manner such constancy and zeal in thy service, that we may obtain with him and thy servants everywhere a good confession and the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.2

Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and didst endow him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.3

1. Lesser Feasts & Fasts, 2006.
1. Lesser Feasts & Fasts, 1963.
1. Lesser Feasts & Fasts, 2006.

Decently habited, CLXXXV

October 2, 2015

The Revd Mark Sutherland, rector of St. Martin’s Church, Providence, R.I.


On church music

September 25, 2015
© Royal College of Music; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

© Royal College of Music; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

“Music should not be compelled to bring her worst gift to the altar!”

1. Samuel Sebastian Wesley, A Few Words on Cathedral Music and the Musical System of the Church with a Plan of Reform (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1849), 75.

Two collects…

September 24, 2015

… which teach us how to pray.

Trinity X
LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Trinity XI
O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Decently habited, CLXXXIV

September 17, 2015

WillcocksSir David Willcocks, CBE (30 December 1919 – 17 September 2015)

Decently habited, CLXXXIII

August 30, 2015

Lay Vicars of Truro Cathedral, at tea.


Life as a cathedral chorister

August 25, 2015

The best education a musical child can have.


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