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Liturgical Press

Words without Alloy

A Biography of the Lectionary for Mass

Paul Turner

Words without Alloy
Words without Alloy

ISBN: 9780814667637, 6763

Details: 296 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 12/15/2022

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Why do we have the readings we have on the days we have them? Roman Catholics enjoy the rotation of readings from the Lectionary for Mass because they offer a rich presentation of the Bible, anchor the Liturgy of the Word, and provide a source of private meditation. But how did the pairing of all these readings come about? In Words without Alloy, Paul Turner traces the history of the lectionary as if it were a person coming to full maturity. By following the development of the lectionary, readers may come to a deeper appreciation of the One whose words it speaks.

Paul Turner is pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Kansas City––St. Joseph. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant’ Anselmo in Rome. He is a former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a member of Societas Liturgica and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He is the author of numerous books published by Liturgical Press and a contributor to Give Us This Day.


"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, author of Holy Land Pilgrimage