Liturgy of Saint James

Last updated
Orthodox bishop Longin (Talypin), holding his paterissa (crozier), presiding over a celebration of the Liturgy of St. James in Dusseldorf, Germany. Liturgy St James 3.jpg
Orthodox bishop Longin (Talypin), holding his paterissa (crozier), presiding over a celebration of the Liturgy of St. James in Düsseldorf, Germany.
A West Syriac Rite liturgy of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church holding paterissa (crozier) Holy mass of the Syriac Orthodox Church.jpg
A West Syriac Rite liturgy of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church holding paterissa (crozier)

The Liturgy of Saint James or Jacobite liturgy is the oldest complete form of the Eastern varieties of the Christian liturgy still in use among certain Christian Churches.

Contents

It is based on the traditions of the ancient rite of the Early Christian Church of Jerusalem, as the Mystagogic Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem imply. Forming the historical basis of the Liturgy of Antioch, it is still the principal liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the British Orthodox Church and the Maronite Church. It is also occasionally used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Melkite Catholic Church. The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church uses a reformed variant of this liturgy omitting prayers for Intercession to Saints.

The Liturgy is associated with the name of James the Just, the brother of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. Saint James was martyred at the hands of a mob incensed at his preaching about Jesus and his "transgression of the Law" - an accusation made by the Jewish High Priest of the time, Hanan ben Hanan.

The historic Christian liturgies are divided between Eastern and Western usages. Among the Eastern liturgies, the Liturgy of Saint James is one of the Antiochene group of liturgies, those ascribed to Saint James, to Saint Basil, and to Saint John Chrysostom. Other Eastern liturgies include the Assyrian or Chaldean rites, as well as the Armenian and Maronite rites. The Byzantine liturgies attributed to Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil are the ones most widely used today by all Eastern Orthodox Christians, Byzantine Rite Lutherans, and by the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome.

Manuscript tradition

The Liturgy of Saint James is considered to be the oldest surviving liturgy developed for general use in the Church. Its date of composition is still disputed, but most authorities propose a fourth-century date for the known form, because the anaphora seems to have been developed from an ancient Egyptian form of the Basilean anaphoric family united with the anaphora described in The Catechisms of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. [1]

The earliest manuscript is the ninth-century codex, Vaticanus graecus 2282, which had been in liturgical use at Damascus, in the diocese of Antioch.

The only critical edition is the one published by Dom B.-Charles Mercier in the Patrologia Orientalis , vol. 26 (1950).

Rubrics of worship

The bishop elevates the chalice while the deacon fans the Gifts with the ripidion. Liturgy St James 8.jpg
The bishop elevates the chalice while the deacon fans the Gifts with the ripidion.

The Liturgy of St. James is commonly celebrated on the feast day of Saint James (October 23) and the first Sunday after Christmas, and then almost exclusively[ clarification needed ] celebrated on a daily basis in Jerusalem, in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[ citation needed ] The Liturgy of Saint James is long, taking some hours to complete in full. The recitation of the Divine Liturgy is performed according to the worship rubrics of a particular Rite, with specific parts chanted by the presider, the lectors, the choir, and the congregated faithful, at certain times in unison. Like other compositions in the Byzantine tradition, the Divine Liturgy of St. James as celebrated in Greek forms the basis of the English transcription.[ clarification needed ] In its Syriac form, the Liturgy is still used in the Syriac and Indian Churches - Catholic and Orthodox - both in a Syriac translation and in Malayalam and English.

During the Offertory, the partiture[ clarification needed ] calls for a Cherubic Hymn chanted by readers as the priest brings the gifts to be consecrated onto the altar. In the Latin Catholic Church, this composition became popular as a separate hymn of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, known in English as Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence .

Musical annotation

The hymnographers of the early Church composed both the words of the sung prayers and the tones of the musical scale to be sung in a single codex for a particular community. The annotation was recorded in close correspondence to the text (for sample codices, see those [2] collated by the North American Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Anthony in Arizona) with neumes indicating the melodic tones and their duration used before the adoption of the Western system of staff and scales became established in medieval times. In those communities that worship in Syriac the neumes are mirror images of those used by the authocthonous Greek and Cyrillic Orthodox Churches and written and read right to left in accordance with the Syriac script of the prayer texts.

The English Hymnal features the 1906 Ralph Vaughan Williams arrangement of the English verses of the Cherubic hymn of the Offertory chant (see above) to the melody of the French folk tune Picardy. The hymn known as Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is also popular in the Roman Catholic Latin rite as an alternative to the spoken communion antiphon.

See also

Related Research Articles

Divine Liturgy Rite practiced in Eastern Christian traditions

Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Byzantine Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.

Syriac Catholic Church

The Syriac Catholic Church, also known as Syriac Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, is an Eastern Catholic Christian Church in the Levant that uses the West Syriac Rite liturgy and has many practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. Being one of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, the Syriac Catholic Church has full autonomy and is a self-governed sui iuris Church while it is in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. The Syriac Catholic Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity. After the Calcedonian Schism the Church of Antioch became part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and was known as the Syriac Orthodox Church, while a new Antiochian Patriarchate was established to fill its place by the churches which accepted the Council of Calcedon. The Syriac Orthodox Church came into full communion with the Holy See and the modern Syriac Orthodox Church is a result of those that did not want to join the Catholic Church. Therefore the Syriac Catholic Church is the continuation of the original Church of Antioch.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church or Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church based in Kerala, India. It is an autonomous particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Church is headed by the Metropolitan and Gate of all India Major Archbishop George Cardinal Alencherry. The name Syro-Malabar is a prefix coined from the words Syriac as the church employs the East Syriac Rite liturgy, and Malabar which is the historical name for modern Kerala. The name has been in usage in official Vatican documents since the nineteenth century.

Sanctus Hymn

The Sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy. It may also be called the epinikios hymnos when referring to the Greek rendition.

Syriac Christianity Form of Eastern Christianity

Syriac Christianity is the form of Eastern Christianity whose formative theological writings and traditional liturgy are expressed in the Syriac language, which, along with Latin and Greek, was one of "the three most important Christian languages in the early centuries" of the Common Era.

Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. Although the term liturgy is used to mean public worship in general, the Byzantine Rite uses the term "Divine Liturgy" to denote the Eucharistic service.

Armenian Rite

The Armenian Rite is an independent liturgy used by both the Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches. It is also the rite used by a significant number of Eastern Catholic Christians in Georgia.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is a Byzantine Rite liturgical service which is performed on the weekdays of Great Lent wherein communion is received from Gifts that are sanctified (consecrated) in advance, hence its name; this Divine Liturgy has no anaphora.

Holy Qurbana

The Holy Qurbana or Holy Qurbono, refers to the Eucharist as celebrated in Syriac Christianity. This includes various Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. Syriac Christianity consists of two liturgical rites, the East Syriac Rite and the West Syriac Rite. The main Anaphora of the East Syriac tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Saints Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syriac tradition is the Divine Liturgy of Saint James.

Anaphora (liturgy) part of liturgy

The Anaphora is the most solemn part of the Divine Liturgy, or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. This is the usual name for this part of the Liturgy in Greek-speaking Eastern Christianity. In western Christian traditions which have a comparable rite, the Anaphora is more often called the Eucharistic Prayer for the four modern anaphoras in the Latin liturgy, with the first anaphora having the additional name of the Roman Canon. When the Roman Rite had a single Eucharistic Prayer, it was called the Canon of the Mass.

The Memorial Acclamation is an acclamation sung or recited by the people after the institution narrative of the Eucharist. They were common in ancient eastern liturgies and have more recently been introduced into Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Methodist liturgies.

West Syriac Rite

The West Syriac Rite, also called Syro-Antiochian Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James in the West Syriac dialect. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity. It is chiefly practiced in the Syriac Maronite Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and churches related to or descended from it. It is part of the liturgical family known as the Antiochian Rite, which originated in the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. It has more anaphoras than any other rite.

Antiochene Rite family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch

Antiochene Rite or Antiochian Rite designates the family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

East Syriac Rite Liturgical Rite

The East Syriac Rite or East Syrian Rite, also called Assyrian Rite, Persian Rite, Chaldean Rite, or Syro-Oriental Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the Divine Liturgy of Saints Addai and Mari and the East Syriac dialect as its liturgical language. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity.

The Secret is a prayer said in a low voice by the priest or bishop during religious services.

Alexandrian Rite liturgical rite used by the Coptic Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church

The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as well as by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches.

The Liturgy of Saint Basil or, more formally, the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, is a term for several Eastern Christian celebrations of the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist), or at least several anaphoras, which are named after Basil of Caesarea. Two of these liturgies are in common use today: the one used in the Byzantine Rite ten times a year, and the one ordinarily used by the Coptic Church.

Liturgical book Christian prayer book

A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.

<i>Let all mortal flesh keep silence</i>

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, also known as Let all mortal flesh keep silent, is an ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion based on words from Habakkuk 2:20, "Let all the earth keep silence before him". The original was composed in Greek as a Cherubic Hymn for the Offertory of the Divine Liturgy of St James; it probably antedates the rest of the liturgy and goes back at least to AD 275, with local churches adopting arrangements in Syriac. In modern times, the Ralph Vaughan Williams arrangement of a translation from the Greek by Gerard Moultrie to the tune of "Picardy", a French medieval folk melody, popularized the hymn among other Christian congregations.

Malankara Rite

The Malankara Rite is the form of the West Syriac liturgical rite practiced by several churches of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala, India. West Syriac liturgy was brought to India by the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem, Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, in 1665; in the following decades the Malankara Rite emerged as the liturgy of the Malankara Church, one of the two churches that evolved from the split in the Saint Thomas Christian community in the 17th century. Today it is practiced by the various churches that descend from the Malankara Church, namely the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

References

  1. John Witvliet The Anaphora of St. James in ed. F. Bradshaw Essays on Early Eastern Eucharistic Prayers, 1997
  2. http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/ByzMusicFonts.html

Further reading