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• James the Greater


• Whose Feet?

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This is a play to help you learn more about St. James.
Imagine you are in Galilee, on the shore of a big lake.
You've been out fishing all day.  Suddenly, a man walks by.
He stops, looking intently at you.  He calls your name...

Icon of James  

James of Galilee


Who was he?
A teacher?
An apostle?
A martyr?
A pilgrim?
A saint?
Saint James was all these things.
But he started out as a humble fisherman.
Let s go back to that day long ago.
Maybe it was a day like this one:
a beautiful summer day.
Maybe the sun was shining
when Jesus came walking along
by the sea of Galilee
and saw some fishermen, hard at work .

James and John



Leaping Fish












The Call

My name is James.
My father s name is Zebedee.
My brother s name is John.
And this is our mother.
Now you know our whole family.
But this story isn t about us.
It s really a story about HIM.
We were mending our nets by the sea of Galilee when it happened.
HE walked by.  Jesus of Nazareth.
He looked at John and me.  And he said:

Come after me,
and I will make you fishers of men!

It sounded like a crazy idea!
But John and I got up and followed him.
I ll admit our father wasn t too happy
about it at first.
Jesus taught us all kinds of things.
He taught us to pray.
He taught us to love God
instead of being afraid of him.
He taught us to care about others,
not just our family and friends,
not just people like us, but everyone.
We were with Jesus when he healed sick people.
We were with him
when he raised a little girl from the dead.

As time went on we got to know him better.
We knew that he was more than a teacher,
more than a friend.
We came to understand
that Jesus was the Son of God.
But Jesus told us:

The Son of Man is to be handed over
to evil people,
and they will kill him,
and he will be raised on the third day.

None of us liked the sound of that.
Jesus could do anything;
why would he let himself be killed?
Peter spoke for all of us when he said,

God forbid, Lord! 
No such thing shall ever happen to you.

You are thinking not as God does,
but as human beings do.


Transfiguration of the Lord
The Transfiguration


It wasn t long after that
that Jesus took John, Peter, and me
up a high mountain.  Jesus was praying,
and suddenly he was transfigured.
He seemed to be shining.
We saw Moses and Elijah with him.
We could hear them talking to Jesus.
And we were all amazed!
A cloud came over the sun,
and we heard a voice speaking to us.
The voice said:
God s voice

This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased.
Listen to him.

The Mother of James and John

Their Mother s Request


After that Jesus started walking to Jerusalem.
We all went with him.
We didn t really know what would happen
when we got there.
Jesus had told us he would be killed.
But how could that be?
Somehow, we didn t think it would really happen.
Jesus was so powerful! 
He could do anything he wanted!
While we were on the way,
my mother said to Jesus,

Lord, command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right, and the other at your left,
in your kingdom.

The other disciples didn t like that very much.
But John and I thought it was a pretty good idea.

You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?
James & John


My cup you will drink.
But to sit at my right and my left
is not mine to give.
whoever wishes to be great among you
must be the servant.
Whoever wishes to be first must take the last place.
Because I am in your midst as one who serves.










James Statue











In Jerusalem

When we got to Jerusalem,
everything seemed to be going great!
The people welcomed Jesus with great joy.
They waved palm branches and sang Hosanna!
But after we shared the Passover meal together,
Jesus began to be afraid.
He took John and Peter and me
with him to a garden.
It was called the Garden of Gethsemane.
He said,

My soul is sorrowful even unto death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.

But we were frightened and confused.
We fell asleep.
When soldiers came to arrest Jesus,
we were terrified.  We ran away.

I don t know why we ran.
We weren t thinking.
We were all hiding
when Jesus was crucified for us.

Now what?
What were we going to do without Jesus?
Resurrection of the Lord  
The Resurrection

But the women didn t run.
They stayed close to Jesus.
And when morning came
on the first day of the week,
they found us and told us some amazing news.
They told us that Jesus was alive!
He had risen from the dead.

We saw the empty tomb.
And I saw Jesus again with my own eyes.
After that, we were all different.
We weren t afraid any more.
We went all over the world
teaching people about Jesus.
I got in trouble for telling his story.
And then I realized what Jesus meant
when he told me that I could drink from his cup.

James the Pilgrim

The Martyrdom of James


King Herod had James killed
for preaching about Jesus.
But people didn t forget about James.
They came to pray at the place where he was buried.
More and more people came.
James became the patron saint of all pilgrims.
He is our patron, too.

Saint James, pray for us!
Help us to walk in Jesus footsteps as you did.
Help us to be courageous in following Jesus,
and generous in helping other people.
Walk with us on our journey,
until with you we see the Lord face to face
in his heavenly kingdom.
Through Christ our Lord.



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303