When Adrien Nocent's The Liturgical Year was published in the 1970s, it was the very first comprehensive commentary on the three-year lectionary in relation to the Sacramentary/Missal as these were revised following the Second Vatican Council. Expressed on nearly every page was Nocent's conviction that the liturgy and the Word of God proclaimed within it have something important to say to real people of every culture and time. He constantly returns to the question: What does this passage have to say to us today?
Now this extraordinary work of applied, postconciliar liturgical scholarship has been emended and annotated by one of today's leading liturgical scholars. Paul Turner has provided many helpful explanatory notes on history, culture, language, and, of course, liturgy. He has also updated the liturgical texts to conform to The Roman Missal, Third Edition. The result is a resource that promises to enrich and inspire a new generation of presiders, preachers, liturgy planners, and students.
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium, encounter the vibrant scholarship and pastoral wisdom of Adrien Nocent's The Liturgical Year again or for the first time!
Volume 1 covers the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
Adrien Nocent, OSB (1913-1996), was a Belgian monk and professor at the Pontifical Atheneum of Saint Anselm in Rome. He served as a consultor for the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, working especially on the revision of Holy Week and of the Lectionary for Mass.
Paul Turner is pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the author of many books on liturgy, including Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass; Glory in the Cross: Holy Week in the Third Edition of The Roman Missal; and When Other Christians Become Catholic, all from Liturgical Press. He is a former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and is a member of Societas Liturgica and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He serves as a facilitator for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
Adrien Nocent was truly a remarkable scholar well ahead of his time! First published in English in 1977, we cannot today but be astonished at the depth of theological and pastoral insight on the Lectionary and liturgies in this first of his multivolume work on the liturgical year. He weaves the paschal mystery, eschatology, and living liturgy daily into a core tool for interpreting Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in a fresh way. In this reissue, Fr. Paul Turner sensitively respects Nocent's own voice as he bridges the time after the Council to the present age: he emends the text to render it in horizontal inclusive language, redresses some theological and historical issues, and includes the latest translation of the liturgical text. This work needs to be on every priest's, liturgist's, musician's, and assembly member's "go to" shelf.
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS, Institute for Liturgical Ministry
In 1977 when Adrien Nocent's book appeared in English translation, I was studying the liturgical year with him at Sant'Anselmo. I remember how moved I was to read his deep reflections after having experienced the new lectionary with its three-year cycle of readings at that point only a couple of times. Now, having experienced the three-year cycle more than a dozen times, I am still moved by his writings. I am delighted that his book has been updated by Paul Turner and is coming into print again.
Michael S. Driscoll, Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Though originating in the postconciliar period, Adrien Nocent's volumes remain one of the church's finest commentaries on the lectionary and contain remarkable up-to-date insights for our times. Thanks to the emendations and annotations of Paul Turner, one of today's finest liturgical scholars, these volumes will enrich the thoughts of parish liturgists, presiders, homilists, musicians, lectors, theology students, and participants in the church's liturgy.
Stephen J. Binz, biblical scholar, author of Conversing with God in Advent and Christmas (also Conversing with God in Lent and Conversing with God in the Easter Season)
Aggiornamento is back! Paul Turner has updated the first volume of Adrien Nocent's The Liturgical Year in a discrete, respectful, and informed manner, enabling the author's reflections on the feasts and seasons as well as on the Lectionary to connect effectively with the concerns and interests of present-day readers. I look forward to the next two volumes.
Patrick Regan, OSB, Saint Joseph Abbey, Saint Benedict, Louisiana, Author of Advent to Pentecost
This new edition of Adrien Nocent's The Liturgical Year dappers up an old friend! The passing of time and the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal had made the original edition of Nocent's work more difficult to use. Now Paul Turner has done us a favor with this thorough revision: he has replaced prayer texts with the new translation, explained the context of some issues that have faded in the almost forty years since Nocent wrote the book, and emended Matthew J. O'Connell's fine translation to make it more accessible to readers today. The virtues of Nocent's original work (namely, his opening up of the reformed liturgical year through the lens of the lectionary and prayer texts of the Missal in the light of the history of the liturgy) can again serve preachers, liturgists, and lovers of the liturgy because of Turner's fine work. It promises to be a key resource for another forty years.
Rev. Michael Witczak Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies Catholic University of America