On Thursday, the 23rd of October/5th of November 2015, the Patriarchate observed the memory of St James the Brother of God, the first Hierarch of the Church of Jerusalem, at the church dedicated to his name, which internally connects the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood with the Church of the Resurrection.

St James the Brother of God was by the Logos, the Only Begotten Son of God, made “the first shepherd and teacher and faithful steward of the sacraments of the spiritual fathers in Jerusalem”, President of the first Ecumenical Synod in 49 AD and the one who had designated the stance of the Church on the old Law of Moses and the New Law of Christ’s Grace. St James had written an Epistle to the twelve tribes of Israel, scattered abroad, that was included in the Canon of the New Testament. Fanatic Jews, adhering to the Law of Moses, had pushed him down the arch of the Temple of Solomon in 63 AD.

This great Apostle and Hierarch of the Church of Jerusalem and of the entire Church was honoured by the Church of Jerusalem on the aforementioned day with Vespers led by the Patriarchal Commissioner, Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem officiated at the divine Liturgy, having as concelebrants Metropolitan Isychios and Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebaste, and Joachim of former Zambia; Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and the vicar of the Cathedral, f. Farah Bantour, Archdeacon Evlogios, deacon Synesios, and priests visiting from Russia and Romania. Archimandrite Aristovoulos san in Greek whilst Mr Rimon Kamar sang in Arabic, in the presence of His Excellency the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, Mr Georgios Zacharoudiakis. A large crowd attended the service, including local members of St James parish, as well as nuns and pilgrims from Greece, Romania and Russia.

During Communion, His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Greek.

The board members of St James Cathedral delivered the church keys to Patriarch Theophilos as a token of obedience and recognition of the Patriarchate’s ownership, whilst the Patriarch returned the keys to them according to custom. Finally, His Beatitude distributed eulogias to all pilgrims.

From the Secretariat-General