The Divine Liturgy of Saint James - Enhanced (Illustrated) by St. James
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The Liturgy of Saint James is the oldest complete form of the Eastern varieties of the Divine Liturgy still in use among certain Christian churches.
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. It is also occasionally used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Melkite Catholic Church.
The Liturgy is associated with the name of James the Just, 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" - a factitious 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 and by the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome.
The Liturgy of Saint James as it presently exists has been brought into conformity with developed Trinitarian Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy.
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