Author Topic: Liturgy of St. James  (Read 327 times)

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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Liturgy of St. James
« on: July 28, 2015, 09:57:32 PM »
What is this liturgy? I hear it is the oldest surviving Liturgy from 49 A.D., and I hear it used by the Syriac Orthodox Church, any other information anybody has about this Liturgy? Thanks
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 10:13:40 PM »
The Divine Liturgy of St. James is actually very similar to the liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil that we use today.  If you are familiar with both of those, the Liturgy of St. James would not be all that different to you. It is a much longer liturgy, but the overall format is pretty much the same.  There are a couple notable differences from today's Liturgy:

1.  The Cherubic Hymn is different.  St. James uses the original Cherubic hymn "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" instead of the newer "Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim."
2.  The prayers of the Anaphora are VERY VERY long, even longer than those of Saint Basil's liturgy.
3.  Because it is so ancient, the Liturgy of St. James pre-dates the use of the spoon in the Eucharist. There is no intinction in this liturgy.  The Body and Blood of Christ are administered separately to all the communicants, if it is done in its most ancient form.  The faithful receive the Body of Christ by opening their mouth and having the priest place it on their tongue.  The faithful then receive the precious Blood by drinking directly from the Chalice.

I hope that answers your questions.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 10:17:23 PM »
Thanks there a Syriac Orthodox Church about a hour and 15 minutes or so away from me once I get a working vehicle I want to pay a visit I talked to the priest very briefly on the phone he a nice guy from the sounds of it they seem happy anyone even know they exist. Thanks for the info especially the info on the Eucharist is very informative.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 10:25:40 PM »
The Divine Liturgy of St. James is actually very similar to the liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil that we use today.  If you are familiar with both of those, the Liturgy of St. James would not be all that different to you. It is a much longer liturgy, but the overall format is pretty much the same.  There are a couple notable differences from today's Liturgy:

1.  The Cherubic Hymn is different.  St. James uses the original Cherubic hymn "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" instead of the newer "Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim."
2.  The prayers of the Anaphora are VERY VERY long, even longer than those of Saint Basil's liturgy.
3.  Because it is so ancient, the Liturgy of St. James pre-dates the use of the spoon in the Eucharist. There is no intinction in this liturgy.  The Body and Blood of Christ are administered separately to all the communicants, if it is done in its most ancient form.  The faithful receive the Body of Christ by opening their mouth and having the priest place it on their tongue.  The faithful then receive the precious Blood by drinking directly from the Chalice.

I hope that answers your questions.

I got one more question how long is the Liturgy so I know how long it would last if I ever get to attend it?
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 10:38:38 PM »
The Syriacs are Oriental Orthodox, not Eastern Orthodox.  What I said earlier pertains to how we Eastern Orthodox celebrate the Liturgy of St. James on those rare occasions when we do (usually only a seminary or a monastery and even then usually only once a year on the Feast of St. James, if it is celebrated at all.  (Remember there are only a handful of Eastern Orthodox who celebrate this ancient Liturgy anymore.)

Since the Syriacs are Oriental Orthodox, they do not follow the liturgical traditions that we do.  Many of our liturgical traditions come from Constantinople.  The Syriacs follow an older tradition that comes from Antioch.  I do not know how similar their version of St. James would be to the Byzantine version we would use.  It might be very different, I just don't know.  If they were to serve it in its FULL form with no abbreviations it could easily last 3.5 to 4 hours.  However, since the Syriacs use St. James as their primary Sunday liturgy, it might not take that long. They could have developed an abbreviated manner of serving it over the years and leave the full , unabbreviated version for the monasteries.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 10:41:52 PM »
Thanks I'm still a inquirer so I haven't made up my mind yet still you been a great service and help.
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 10:43:26 PM »
I found a link for you.  This is the Anaphora of the Syriac version of the Liturgy of St. James, translated into English.  Enjoy!

http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/Anaphora/James.html

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 10:50:59 PM »
Awesome thanks so much!  :)
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 02:52:11 PM »
Actually, there are a few more very characteristic features of this Liturgy than Tikhon29605 wrote.
1. The sermon is said by priest that's sitting
2. No use of mitras, trikirion and dikirion (these special candles) by bishops
3. Sometimes the Liturgy is served before the iconostasis (as in the old times there were only curtains) and it should be served with face toward the faithful (I've especially observed it in videos from Jordan from the Great Thursday; in Jerusalem Patriarchate this Liturgy is used a bit more often than in other local EO Churches
4. The content of some ektenies is quite different
5. Another order of the readings:
a) the Old Testament
b) the New Testament (except the Gospel)
c) the Gospel

There is also the Liturgy of st. James of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, but altough there are quite new re-prints of it, I doubt it's still used anywhere, even in Palestine or Jordan

Edit: I've attended it twice in 2 different churches; as far I remember it lasts about 2 hours, so not much longer (or even the same) as Liturgy of st. John
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 02:55:59 PM by Dominika »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 07:41:35 PM »
Actually, there are a few more very characteristic features of this Liturgy than Tikhon29605 wrote.
1. The sermon is said by priest that's sitting
2. No use of mitras, trikirion and dikirion (these special candles) by bishops
3. Sometimes the Liturgy is served before the iconostasis (as in the old times there were only curtains) and it should be served with face toward the faithful (I've especially observed it in videos from Jordan from the Great Thursday; in Jerusalem Patriarchate this Liturgy is used a bit more often than in other local EO Churches
4. The content of some ektenies is quite different
5. Another order of the readings:
a) the Old Testament
b) the New Testament (except the Gospel)
c) the Gospel

There is also the Liturgy of st. James of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, but altough there are quite new re-prints of it, I doubt it's still used anywhere, even in Palestine or Jordan

Edit: I've attended it twice in 2 different churches; as far I remember it lasts about 2 hours, so not much longer (or even the same) as Liturgy of st. John
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 07:43:13 PM »
Since the Syriacs are Oriental Orthodox, they do not follow the liturgical traditions that we do.  Many of our liturgical traditions come from Constantinople.  The Syriacs follow an older tradition that comes from Antioch. 

The Constantinopolitan Liturgy is an Antiochene Liturgy. It has developed, sure, but it shares the same roots as the Syriac liturgy.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 07:43:19 PM by Cyrillic »
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 09:00:22 PM »
It is served in parishes dedicated to St. James on the patronal festival, October 23.

I have attended this at the St. James AO Mission in Westminster, Maryland.

Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 02:16:29 AM »
It's just a longer Liturgy. St John of San Francisco used it and a lot of monasteries use it.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Liturgy of St. James
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 05:09:32 AM »
Note that the Syriac Anaphora of St. James has developed in a manner paralleling the developments in the Byzantine Rite and also incorporating developments specific to the Syriac Rite, so whereas if you read certain prayers at the lituegical "core" like the Preface to the Institution Narrative and the Epiclesis, you can identify it as sharing a common origin with Byzantine St. James, there are also a lot of differences.  I may be wrong but I believe the Syriac Orthodox do not use, for example, "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent," except perhaps on Holy Saturday; Mor might know for sure.   The Liturgy of the Catechumens features the Oriental Orthodox Trisagion with the so called Theopaschite Clause, and a Husoyo prayer, a structured sequence of prayers that in Syriac Orthodoxy is preferred to the Litanies of the Coptic and Byzantine Rite.   The Eucharist is served via intincted particles, but Ive never seen a spoon inuse; these are picked up by the priest and sort of gently tossed into the open mouth during the singing of Haw d'Nurone at the end of the liturgy.  In the Syriac Rite, St. James is required on some occasions and is the longest anaphora, but the liturgy of the catechumens is more or less standardized, and on other occasions other anaphoras might be used such as that of St. Cyril, which is a derivative of the Coptic liturgy of the same name and in tuen the Greek liturgy of St. Mark, and that of the Twelve Apostles, which is also incredibly ancient and is believed to be the basis of the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (the Syriacs also have a version of this).  The website Syriac Orthodox Resources hosts 14 or so translations of the 86 Syriac Orthodox anaphoras, some of which, like that of St. Jacob of Sarugh, are breathtakingly beautiful.  Lamentably many parishes serve only the Anaphora of Mar Bar Salibi, which is the shortest, modified with the words of institution and the epiclesis from St. James, so as to deal with impatient dongregations, reduce printing costs, and ensure as regards the canon mandating the use of St. James that they are "covered."  Alas.

Regarding serving each species individually, without intinction, this remains the normal Coptic praxis.  The Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril is a derivative of that of St. Mark, and is attested into the third century; in fact I believe this liturgy has the third oldest verified text of any, not counting he Didache, with only the Liturgy of St. Hippolytus and a certain fragment being older; I believe the attestations refarding its age are better substantiated by scholarship than those concerning St. James.  The two liturgies are both exquisite and I believe should be regarded as the root of our contemporary Eastern liturgies.   Sadly the St. Cyril liturgy, while still celebrated in the Coptic church, is not as popular as those of St. Basil and St. Gregpry due to its length, and is mainly served in Lent.  I believe Dom Gregory Dix proposed as a rule that older longer liturgies tend to wind up being used in Lent, and if one takes note of the number of Episcopal parishes that  use Rite I in Lent, this seems to be proven.

Some Greek bishops celebrate these ancient liturgies in an unusual manner, with a temporary altar setup in fromt of the iconostasis, thirteen priests in reference to the Last Supper and other peculiariites.  I have seen however on YouTube a video of a Russian bishop celebrating St. James in a relatively ordinary manner, at the regular altar, et cetera.  I think this is somewhat preferrable.  In the case of St. Mark, the Liturgy of the Catechumens in the most recent 1890 recension, compiled I believe by the Alexandria Patriarch, is essentially the same as that shared by St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom, so with that liturgy there is no point at all I would argue in serving it any differently.  I am a guge proponent of these liturgies, which were never entirely abandoned in the Orthodox Church, along with that of St. Peter, discussed elsewhere, becoming a more visible part of the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church, but for that to happen, I believe that it is imperative they are served in as normal a manner as possible, so that, for example, if the liturgy were served entirely in Greek or Church Slavonic, an English speaker would not easily perceive a difference between them and the standard liturgy (to this end, in the case of St. James, one could argue for omitting or praying silently some of the extended Anaphoral prayers, perhaps editing it to follow the West Syriac version, which while longer than the other anaphoras, is certainly not a four hour affair).
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