A Lutheran Goes to Pilgrim’s Mass

This post is for all my Catholic friends ~ Yes, I went to Mass and I sat quite still, for me, other than shivering in the frigid cold, hard pew.  We Lutherans have it so easy with getting in and out of church after less than an hour of sitting in a padded pew. We find other ways to suffer, I guess.

Eye above the altar in the Santiago Cathedral.

Eye above the altar in the Santiago Cathedral.

Pilgrim’s Mass is held in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela each day at noon for pilgrims.

2013Spain-1040694dmvThis nun has the most beautiful voice.  No organ accompaniment and just the pure sound of her God-given talent.  No organ accompaniment since it is during the Lenten season.

Spain-1040636dmvWill they swing the thing?

Spain-1040702dmvPilgrims who received the compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass.  As usual, we are a day late and a dollar short since we received our compostela 2 days ago.

Spain-1040679dmvThe highlight of the Mass is the synchronization of the “hymn to Santiago” with the swinging of the huge Botafumeiro, the famous thurible kept in the cathedral.  Incense is burned in this swinging metal container, or incensory. As the last chords die away, the multitude of pilgrims crowd forward to reach the spiritual highlight of the Mass, the rite of holy communion.  ~Wikipedia

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Will they swing it?  I don’t see the large gold container they swing in the movie, just that black bag hanging from that thick rope Oh, never mind… I see it now.  

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The rite of Holy Communion has commenced so it looks like we are witnessing a regular Mass as the one token Catholic in our group participates.  We are disappointed that they didn’t swing the thing. Shouldn’t have taken showers.  We must smell way too good.

Click on the link below to see what we didn’t see.  We are sitting on this side, so I’ll just have to imagine what it would have been like.

Pilgrim’s Mass link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUxSdgKnYkQ  

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After Mass we walk around and stand in line to see the tomb.

The crypt shows the substructure of the 9th-century church. This was the final destination of the pilgrims. The crypt houses the relics of Saint James and two of his disciples : Saint Theodorus and Saint Athanasius. The silver reliquary (by José Losada, 1886) was put in the crypt at the end of the 19th century, after authentication of the relics by Pope Leo XIII in 1884.

In the course of time, the burial place of the saint had been almost forgotten. Because of regular Dutch and English incursions, the relics had been transferred in 1589 from their place under the main altar to a safer place. They were rediscovered in January 1879. ~Wikipedia

Spain-1040719dmvOops! Just noticed this sign.

Spain-1040731dmvWe tour the cathedral and the line takes us behind the altar.  Peeking over the shoulder of the statue, I see the next mass has already started and a clear view of the thing they swing.

Spain-1040741dmvThese little electric offering candles even have fake wax dripping.  No tickets?

Spain-1040663dmvSt. James, the Moor slayer.

Spain-1040748 - CopydmvHow do you score the exit doorway of  the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela for your ultimate begging location?  Smart to laminate the sign due to the frequency of rainy weather, too. I gave her money, but it must not have been enough to earn a pose including eye contact for pictures.

Leaving the church we are still disappointed they didn’t swing the thing. By the way, the thing is called a  Botafumeiro.  The thing is a lot easier to say.

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