"Although we all make use of the Lectionary weekly if not daily, we had little understanding of how it came to be, until this fascinating new 'biography of the Lectionary' by Paul Turner. Herein we can explore how biblical and liturgical scholars collaborated to construct the church’s Lectionary for Mass following the mandates of the Second Vatican Council, how they brought from the Church’s storeroom both the ancient traditions of biblical readings for the church’s Sundays and feasts as well as new biblical insights to demonstrate how the living word of God unfolds the mystery of Christ throughout the liturgical year. Since the rich fare of Scripture provided by the post-conciliar Lectionary has brought immeasurable gifts to God’s people with its lavish presentation at the table of God’s word, this book is a captivating study for presiders, homilists, deacons, lectors, cantors, and all the faithful who feast on the banquet provided by the Liturgy of the Word."
Stephen J. Binz, biblical scholar, writer, and speaker at Bridge-B.com, author of Holy Land Pilgrimage
"In meticulous detail, Fr. Paul Turner has told one of the great success stories of the Second Vatican Council: the revision of the lectionary. The book will serve preachers and liturgical planners well in their need for a lucid understanding of the complex thinking behind the structure of the lectionary we use in our liturgical celebrations today. An important historical and theological contribution to liturgical studies."
Michael E. Connors CSC, director of the John S. Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgics, University of Notre Dame
“Why do we have the readings we have on the days we have them? Paul Turner’s wonderful 'biography' of the revised lectionary explores this question in fascinating detail. It offers insights into the people of Study Group 11 charged with revising the lectionary, summaries of their reports, and most intriguing, the surprising reasons for some of their choices. Many of us have a vague understanding of the background of the revised lectionary, but few of us know how and why it took this particular shape. Preachers may emerge from this deep dive into the lectionary with new inspiration and new insights for preaching effectively over a season."
Susan Fleming McGurgan, DMin, Adjunct Instructor, Mount St. Mary’s School of Theology, founder of preachinghope.org
"Fr. Paul Turner shows himself in Words Without Alloy to be not just a master liturgist, and one who helps us understand the purposes and functions of the revised lectionary for our worship, but a compelling historian, who unravels the intricate threads of the working group who compiled the lectionary readings. The book reads at times like a mystery, as Fr. Turner shows us how choices for biblical readings were made and how these readings influenced the Mass, affecting homilies, liturgical music, and other forms of art. Essential reading for all liturgical ministers to gain a deeper knowledge of how the Bible shapes our liturgies and for anyone interested in a more complete understanding of how the Bible grounds our worship."
John Martens, professor of theology at St. Mark's College at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
"Turner’s work on the history of the lectionary, especially on its development in the deliberations of Vatican II, is a significant contribution for those interested in how the current lectionary came to be such a critical liturgical text."
Catholic Media Association