Scripture Readings (KJV)
(Vespers, St James)
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
(Vespers, St James)
13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
(Vespers, St James)
1My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
(3rd Matins Gospel)
9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Acts 6.1-7 (Epistle)
1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
(Epistle, St James)
1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
Mark 15.43-16.8 (Gospel)
43Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
47And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
(Gospel, St James)
1And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Holy Apostle James, the brother of St John the Theologian (45)
“The son of Zebedee and brother of John, he was one of the Twelve. At the call of the Lord Jesus, he left his fishing nets and his father and, together with John, immediately followed Christ. He was one of the three apostles to whom the Lord revealed the greatest mysteries: before whom He was transfigured on Tabor and before whom He was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before His Passion. After receiving the Holy Spirit, he preached the Gospel in various places, going as far as Spain. On his return from Spain, a violent quarrel broke out between the Jews and himself on the Holy Scriptures, and, being unable to withstand him, they hired a magician, Hermogenes. But Hermogenes and Philip his pupil were overcome by the power and truth that James preached, and were baptised. Then the Jews denounced him to Herod, and persuaded one Josias to slander the Apostle. This Josias, seeing James’s manly bearing and hearing his clear preaching of the truth, repented and came to faith in Christ. When James was condemned to death, this Josias was also condemned. Mounting the scaffold, Josias begged James’s forgiveness for the sin of slander, and James embraced him, kissing him and saying: ‘peace be to thee, and forgiveness.’ And they both laid their heads under the sword and were beheaded for the sake of the Lord whom they had loved and served. St James suffered in Jerusalem in the year 45. His body was taken to Spain, where to this day miracles of healing are performed at his tomb.” (Prologue)
His relics are venerated at his shrine in Compostela, Spain.
St Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of Stavropol and Kavkaz (1867)
He was born in 1807 into Russian aristocracy — his father was a wealthy provincial gentleman. From a very early age he felt strongly called to monastic life, but at that time it was almost unheard of for a nobleman to take such a path, and Dimitri (as he was called in baptism) entered the Pioneer Military School in St Petersburg. There he distinguished himself, and even attracted the attention of Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich, an event which would profoundly affect his later life.
Despite his excellent record at the academy, young Dimitri still longed only for the things of God. In 1827 he graduated from the school and was commissioned as an officer in the army, but soon fell critically ill, and was granted a discharge. This proved to be providential: when he recovered his health, he immediately became a novice, living at several different monasteries and coming under the spiritual care of Starets Leonid, one of the celebrated fathers of the Optina monastery. In 1821 he took his monastic vows and received the name Ignatius. Soon afterwards he was ordained to the priesthood.
Soon after the newly-professed Fr Ignatius had entered the seclusion that he sought, Tsar Nicholas I — the former Grand Duke Nicholas — visited the Pioneer Military School and asked what had become of the promising cadet he had met a few years before. When the Tsar learned that the former Dimitri was now a monk, he sought him out, had him elevated to the rank of Archimandrite (at age 26!) and made him Superior of the St Sergius Monastery in St Petersburg. Tsar Nicholas instructed him to make the monastery a model for all Russian religious communities. Though he had desired only a life of solitude and prayer, the new Archimandrite devoted himself conscientiously to fulfilling the Tsar’s charge. The monastery did in fact become a kind of standard for Russian monasticism, and its abbot acquired many spiritual children, not only among his monks but among the laity in the capital.
After twenty-four years as superior of the monastery, St Iganatius was elevated to the episcopate in 1857, first as Bishop of Stavropol, then as Bishop of Kavkaz. Only four years later (aged 54) he resigned and spent the rest of his life in reclusion at the Nicolo-Babaevsky Monastery in the diocese of Kostromo. There he continued the large body of spiritual writings for which he is well known. His printed Works fills five volumes; of these, at least two major works have been translated into English: On the Prayer of Jesus and The Arena: an offering to contemporary monasticism. Both are gems of spiritual writing, profitable to every serious Orthodox Christian.
St Ignatius reposed in peace in 1867. He was glorified in 1988 by the Moscow Patriarchate, during the millennial celebrations in that year. Saints Andrei Rublev, Xenia of Petersburg, Theophan the Recluse and others were glorified in the same observances.