Cranmer himself was married twice: first as a young scholar, to a woman he was willing to give up his Oxford fellowship to marry. But alas, she died in childbirth, as did their child. Only many years later did Cranmer marry again, and in the turmoils of that time the safety of his wife and children was an ongoing source of anxiety for him: when he saw that he himself was in danger, he had them shipped secretly off to the Continent.

In light of Cranmer’s history as a married man, we might note one other small innovation. In medieval liturgies the husband’s vow read as follows: “I [name] take thee [name] to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us depart.” Cranmer added one small phrase, just before the final clause: “to love and to cherish.”