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An English botafumeiro


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I've just finished reading a history by Eamon Duffy of the Catholic Church in England before and during the English Reformation. I was surprised to read this.
"At Whitsun at St Paul's, where the clergy had hidden the image of the Virgin to protect her from the iconoclasts, English versions of matins, Mass, and evensong came into use. The reformers also abolished one of the most distinctive of the cathedral's symbolic observances. It had been the custom at Whitsun for a great censer, emitting clouds of sweet smoke and sparks, to be swung from the roof of St Paul's, and for doves to be released, re-enacting the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles. Such gestures had no place in the world of the reformers, dominated as that was by texts, and this “sensyng of Powlles” was now suppressed."
I wonder how the congregation reacted.
(The St Paul's mentioned is the old gothic cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.)


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I've just come across a post by TerryB from 2015 mentioning the same thing but with more detail. He wrote:
"In my recent reading I came across a quote mentioning a "great censer" in Old St. Paul's Cathedral, London before the English Reformation. I dug around on the web and found the following in "Plays of Our Forefathers and Some of the Traditions Upon Which They Were Founded" By Charles Mills Gayley 1907

. . . . . and ten days later the gospel of Whitsunday would suggest, as it still does in Florence and many another Italian town, the representation of the descent of the Holy Ghost. ...We read that in the middle of the sixteenth century at Whitsuntide in (Old) St. Paul's Cathedral they still symbolised the marvel . . . "by letting a white pigeon fly out of a hole in the midst of the roof of the great aisle. The pigeon, with a long censer which came down from the same place almost to the ground, was swung up and down at such a length that it reached with one sweep almost to the west gate of the church, and with the other to the choir stairs; the censer breathing out over the church and the assembled multitude a most pleasant perfume from the sweet things burnt within it."
(the quote is from from Hone's Ancient Mysteries c. 1570)

It would seem that in mediaeval times, Santiago de Compostela was not the only church / cathedral with a great censer. Has anyone else come across other examples?

Tio Tel"

(Sorry, but I don't know how to direct people straight to another thread).
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