Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Liturgy of St. James at Jordanville

(HTS) - Today, when the Holy Church commemorates the memory of the Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord in the flesh, as has been customary in the monastery, the Liturgy of the Apostle James was concelebrated by the monastery and seminary clergy. This ancient liturgy, which was the basis of the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, impresses one with its great prayerfulness and a connection with the Old Testament.

Being a Sunday, our pilgrims were able to take advantage of participating in this liturgy and to be impressed with the richness of the Orthodox liturgical tradition. The Liturgy of the Apostle James has only been served in the Russian Church since the 1930’s, and more specifically in the Russian Church Abroad, after the church musicologist, Philip Gardiner, translated the service into Church Slavonic. It is interesting to note that the service book was printed in the mother house of our monastery in Ladomirovo, Slovakia. It also might be pointed out that the last few years, the monastery also serves during Great Lent the Presanctified Liturgy of St. James as well as the Liturgy of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark.


  1. Can anybody explain what is happening, liturgically, in this picture? My best guess is that these benches are meant to approximate "choir stalls" for the monks to chant.

  2. No, the Celebrant and priests are only sitting for the Old Testament reading which precedes the Gospel or else the Epistle which follows it. It looks as though a deacon reads the Gospel facing the altar. I observed the service in a parish that day. The main difference there was that the Gospel was read facing the people. Also, no headgear, crosses, or awards were worn by the 3 priests. Plus the deacon actually faces the faithful during his petitions with his orarion folded like that of the Subdeacon.The celebrant communed the faithful in the usual manner, but I've seen videos from Russia in which the deacon gives the faithful the chalice to sip from after the Celebrant has given the Precious Body in the hand. In the liturgy I observed the bishop hadden't blessed that.