Saturday, July 25, 2009

St James the Great

Today is the Festival for St James the Great so tomorrow is our Patronal Festival.
Growing up in Evangelical Churches there was not much, if any, attention paid to this. Most of my childhood and as a teenager, I went to Holy Trinity so I guess that should have been Trinity Sunday. I also worshipped regularly at churches named St Phillip, St Thomas, Emmanuel and St Alban but can never remember a patronal festival.
Last year St James Day was on Friday and we had an Evening service of Eucharist but this year it is being kept up tomorrow, Sunday.
The 9am Sung Eucharist and the 11am Choral Eucharist will be combined at 10am for a Choral Eucharist with lunch aftwerwards.

The stained glass window for St James was moved in 1980's when a new Chapel of the Holy Spirit was built. It is now on the stairway to the Bell Tower which is kept locked for safety reasons. I have never seen it and can only find a black and white photo.

From tomorrow's pew sheet

The Patronal Festival is the occasion on which our parish
church celebrates the patron saint after whom we are named and,
at the same time, celebrates the life, character and calling of this
Christian community.
James was the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John; like his
brother, he was a fisherman in Galilee with Zebedee, in partnership
with Andrew and Peter. At the call of Jesus he left everything and
followed him.
James, the first of the Apostles to die, was martyred in Jerusalem in
AD 43. According to legend, James had preached in Spain before his
martyrdom and his body was taken to Compostela, a city in northwestern
Spain. He became the patron saint of Spain. His shrine was
the most popular place of pilgrimage in Christendom after Rome
and Jerusalem.
The mosaic in the chancel floor depicts the insignia of St James. The
emblems are the scallop shell of St James’ shrine at Compostela, the
palm of martyrdom, together with the pilgrim’s insignia of the staff,
bag and broad-brimmed hat.
On this Patronal Festival we celebrate our ongoing pilgrimage as
God’s people in this place.
‘‘… of all the ancient Spanish cities, the one that seems to be immobilised in a granite dream, immutable and eternal, is Santiago de Compostela… It does not seem ancient but more eternal... But Compostela, immobilized in the Ecstasis of the pilgrims, joins all her stones in one unique prayer, and the chain of centuries had always, in its echoes, the same resonance. There, the hours are the same hour, eternally repeated under a weeping sky.” — Ramón del Valle-Inclán: La Lámpara Maravillosa

The Collect
O gracious God, whose apostle James left his father and all that he
had, and without delay obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ: pour
out upon the leaders of your Church the same spirit of self-denying
service by which alone they may have true authority among your
people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The preacher will be The Very Reverend Jeremy Greaves,
Dean of Darwin

The Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei will be sung by the choir from SPATZENMESSE by WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

But the Processional Hymn is to be: 'For all the Saints who from their labours rest'.
I know as the choir process in, led by the Censer then the Cross and the candles followed by the banners of all the church organisations, the wardens with their rods, the choir and the deacons and priests in red and finally the President in a glorious red cope singing this wonderful hymn I will be rapt.
Where is the young evangelical man who was taught to sneer at this? If I had not been gay I might be with those drab men in suits and ties leading other churches in this diocese.


Anonymous said...

May great joy be yours as you celebrate your community of faith and the communion of all the saints.

Brian R said...

Thank you Brian, it was wonderful as expected.

Doorman-Priest said...

I've noticed this tendency in Evangelicalism not to bother with Patronal Festivals too.