A moving Pilgrim Mass: Camino de Santiago


Sue and I sat with New Zealand friends Geoff and Sue for the Pilgrim Mass at the Santiago Cathedral. Seats face the altar from three sides. The giant incense burner is above the altar.

We joined about 1,000 at the traditional Pilgrim Mass at the Santiago Cathedral Tuesday. It was a moving ceremony, highlighted by the swinging of the giant incense burner (Botafumeiro) by six robed attendants. They pulled on ropes strung over a pulley high above the altar.

We sat close to the altar, under the path of the burner, which was originally used to fumigate smelly pilgrims.

A nun's pure, angelic voice and a massive pipe organ filled the cathedral with music. Catholic pilgrims received communion. Pilgrims from all over the world were welcomed.

It was a heart-felt punctuation mark for our Camino de Santiago.


Categories: Camino de Santiago | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “A moving Pilgrim Mass: Camino de Santiago

  1. Carolyn

    Talk about a dream come true! You folks have done it.


  2. Jeannie

    Sounds like the perfect ending. But, ummmm, was there a reason you sat under the path of the incense burner?


  3. Kathy Chappell

    We saw that ceremony on the movie-The Way. It must be very moving to be there as a Pilgrim.


    • Yes, it was very emotional. We were very lucky to have gone Tuesday and to have gotten seats just three rows from the altar. Today, it was much more crowded, at least 500 did not get seats.

      We toured the cathedral today and will go see St. James’ statue (in the movie) and take a tour to the top of the cathedral tonight.
      On to Madrid tomorrow for five days.


  4. Congratulations and well done. I’ve really enjoyed following along on your journey! Feet up and relax?


    • We appreciate all your support during the journey. We enjoy your blog!
      As for rest, it is difficult to sit still after such an experience. But, perhaps when we get home next week.
      All our best, Reg and Sue


  5. Geoff cooper

    Reg and Sue, we know its been ages but we have thought of you often. We just loved spending time with you and Reg, I often chuckle about your description of co-ed bathrooms…love it. Also, we are worried about you with the fires your way. Would love to hear all is well. geoffandsue@coops.co.nz


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