When the English King Henry VIII broke with Rome and created the Church of England, it was vernacular English which was chosen as the new ritual language of the new Church. This meant underlining the break with Catholicism by rejecting the Latin of the Catholic service books in favour of a tongue “clearly understanded of the people” in Cranmer’s new Book of Common Prayer. At the same time, Henry VIII also dissolved – and often destroyed – the Catholic monasteries, mainly for political and economic reasons, meaning that English monks and nuns were forced either to abandon their religious vocation or to migrate to (Catholic) mainland Europe. 300 years later, in the 1840s, the Oxford Movement led to the foundation of the first Anglican monastic communities, and over the next 150 years some 200 communities were founded, and are still being founded today. In 2015 there are some 2000 monks, nuns and friars in the Anglican Communion, and this paper traces their problematic linguistic journey as they negotiate their Catholic roots while creating a recognisably Anglican identity.