Today we remember the brother of the Lord, St. James the Just, who was not one of the original apostles, and who was named by the apostles, the Bishop of Jerusalem. Known in the early days of the church to quell disputes among Christians.
The Liturgy that will be celebrated today, will remind you of the earlier tie between the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church in several ways. The service begins from the back of the Church. The bread will be given without the spoon, in the right hand, and wine from the chalice, to those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ, (the way the priests receive it.) This requires several priests to serve. I have had the opportunity to attend the Liturgy of St. James, on his feast day last year. The hymns and words are a little different and very beautiful.
"According to some, this Saint was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, born of the wife that the latter had before he was betrothed to the Ever-virgin. Hence he was the brother of the Lord, Who was also thought to be the son of Joseph (Matt. 13: 55). But some say that he was a nephew of Joseph, and the son of his brother Cleopas, who was also called Alphaeus and Mary his wife, who was the first cousin of the Theotokos. But even according to this genealogy, he was still called, according to the idiom of the Scriptures, the Lord's brother because of their kinship."
This James is called the Just. Go here (Mark 15:40) to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee. More information can be found here.
Another source is here.
This year's celebration was held out of town and unfortunately, I was unable to attend. St. James was known for his "boldness" for the faith, which we need to think and pray about today.
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