On November 5, the day when the Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Apostle James, the brother of the Lord, the first bishop of Jerusalem, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the church of his name in Jerusalem, which was led by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine. He was co-served by the hierarchs of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, Metropolitan Hesychius of Capitoliad, Archbishop Aristarchus of Constantine and Archbishop Theodosius of Sebaste.
Russian Russian Orthodox Church His Beatitude was co-served by Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, Advisor to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, Acting Deputy Chairman of the DECR, Hieromonk Dometian (Markarian), member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, and Priest Alexander Ershov, assistant to the DECR Chairman.
The Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem E. Vlioras, the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage E.I. Skopenko, numerous parishioners and pilgrims from Russia, Greece, Romania and other countries of the world prayed in the temple.
Prayers were performed in Greek, Arabic and Church Slavonic languages.
After the Divine Liturgy, a procession of fellow hierarchs, clergy, monastics and laity, led by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus, accompanied by the singing of the troparion to the Apostle James, the Lord's brother, proceeded to the throne room of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. His Beatitude addressed the audience with a speech in which he noted the most important role of St. James in the formation of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church.
Then, according to tradition, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus handed over the keys to the church of the Apostle James for safekeeping to his elders for a new term and blessed them.
At the end of the celebrations, the DECR chairman and the persons accompanying him were invited by His Beatitude to a meal, at which the warm cordial communication of the hierarchs was continued.