St. James’ Day

I hope you’re finding beauty and abundance in these summer days! Though the liturgical season in which we find ourselves during the summer – Ordinary Time – doesn’t have rhythms as dramatic as those at Easter & Christmas, it’s honestly my favorite season in the Church year. Like will-o-whisps illuminating a path, beautiful feasts & traditions dot the Ordinary Time landscape, drawing deeper connections with the rest of the commemorations in the calendar. All these landmarks on the path really buoy my spirit.

For July, I have a few resources to share with you – to celebrate St. James the Great!

The first is a little St. James’ Day paper scene, featuring a pilgrim bunny, oyster-shell grotto, St. James’ Wort, and a candle. If you tuck a battery-operated tealight behind the grotto, it’ll illuminate the scene and really make it come to life!

I pulled this delightful, albeit now-obscure tradition from a passage by Robert Chambers, as quoted in the Oxford Companion to the Year:

“By the time that old St. James’ Day has come about, they have these little (oyster-shell) fabrics in nice order, with a candle stuck in the top, to be lighted at night. As you thread your way through some of the denser parts of the metropolis, you are apt to find a cone of shells, with its votive light, in the nook of some retired court…” 

Children used to tuck flowers, pottery, ribbons, etc. in among the oyster shells. Isn’t that charming?

The other is a St. James’ Day liturgical binder printable, featuring a couple of original illustrations. I keep a liturgical year binder at home, to help collect all the bits & bobs that we tend to gravitate toward throughout the seasons; I’m hoping to make some binder printables available to you soon, but in the meantime, I thought I’d start with sharing an info sheet!

It’s written with an ecumenical spirit, so my hope is that anyone journeying through the calendar can enjoy it.

These are available as free printables to my newsletter subscribers (if you’d like, please subscribe to my newsletter to receive the password to my printables library!)

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