On Sunday, November 5, the feast of the Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. James in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Subdeacon Nikolaos Kontogiannis, cleric of Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY was ordained to the Holy Diaconate. In the beginning of 2024, the newly ordained Deacon Nicholas will fulfill his service in St. Nicholas Church in Endicott, NY.
The Divine Liturgy of St. James was, until the 12th century, the primary Eucharistic Liturgy of the Church of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Scholars suggest that its Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) goes back to the end of the 4th century and is attested to in the Mystagogical Catecheses of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (+387). The complete text of this Liturgy exists in Greek, but many of the diverse and beautiful hymns that were sung in the course of this Liturgy in ancient Jerusalem have survived only in Georgian translation, due to the fact that from about 11th-12th centuries, the Jerusalem Church itself gradually abandoned the use of its own ancient liturgical rite.
In the late 19th century, however, the service of this Liturgy was revived on the island of Zakynthos (Greece) and subsequently in Jerusalem itself. In 1938, the Liturgy of St. James was translated by Abbot Philip (also known as Ivan A. Gardner) and published by the Print Shop of St. Job of Pochaev. Fr. Philip himself celebrated the Liturgy of St James for the first time, using his Church Slavonic translation, on January 18, 1938 in the presence of Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky; +1965) and a few other bishops, including St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco. From that time, the annual celebration of the Liturgy of St. James became an ongoing tradition of the Russian Church Abroad. This was preserved by the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev, who brought this tradition to Jordanville in the late 1940s.