Under Elizabeth I and James (I of England and VI of Scotland) the public worship in the churches of England deteriorated as the Puritan party within the Church of England extended its influence. The official doctrine of the Church of England, as stated in Convocation, still took note of "the ancient Catholic fathers and doctors", but the Puritan reading of Scripture, tending toward a fundamentalist reading (which would ultimately resurrect the fundamentalist teachings of Arius and result in many Puritan churches becoming Unitarian) would ban anything not explicitly found in Scripture, for example clerical dress such as the surplice.
But under Charles I's Archbishop William Laud, the "Catholic" party within the Church, which found support in the writings of divines such as Richard Hooker and Jeremy Taylor, found renewed strength. And while the Puritan backlash, which resulted in Laud's execution and the regicide of Charles by the Scottish rebels seemed overwhelming, when the monarchy and episcopate were restored under Charles II, it was largely a Laudian pattern of worship and church government that flourished.
In the second of a three-part series, you can read about Laud's efforts to restore the public worship (and larger public role of the Church) as published in Volume 2, Number 2 (Pentecost 2007) at the Anglican Embers page of the Anglican Use Society: http://www.anglicanuse.org/AE_2_02_Cavanaugh-Laud-Worship.pdf
Prof. Rachel Fulton Brown's "Mary & the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life" - *+ * *Rachel Fulton Brown*, Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Chicago, has written a most important work for anyone interested ...
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