The Sunday Lectionary examines a key aspect of the liturgical use of the Bible: how the Lectionary puts biblical flesh on the bones of the liturgical calendar and gives paschal shape to the Christian year. Although the current Lectionary has been in use since 1969, its history, purpose, and structure remains relatively unknown to the many who proclaim or hear its readings. The Sunday Lectionary contributes to a theology of proclamation by explaining the principles that underlie the Lectionary's selection of biblical passages and its patterns of reading distribution that structure the Sundays, feast days, and seasons of the liturgical year.
The book is divided into two parts. The first lays the groundwork by surveying the history of the Lectionaries (chapter 1), chronicling the highlights of the Vatican II Lectionary reform (chapter 2), and examining the characteristic traits of the revised Sunday and feast day Lectionary and its ecumenical import (chapter 3). The second part analyzes the Lectionary's architecture for each of the liturgical seasons (chapters 4-9).
Liturgical proclamation breathes life into the ancient inscribed words, transforming them from words into the Word, thus bringing the transforming, nourishing presence of the risen Christ into the world. The Sunday Lectionary not only helps enrich theological conversation but helps pastors, homilists, worship leaders, rectors, cantors, and students of liturgy foster a deeper appreciation of the Lectionary and, through the Lectionary, the liturgy.
Normand Bonneau, OMI, ThD, is Associate Professor of New Testament at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. His special interests are the letters of Paul and the Sunday Lectionary, in which he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, and on which he has published a number of articles.