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Cathedral Closed...Is the Camino still worth it?

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DebbieG64

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one next week, May 2019
Hi, I just completed my first Camino. I knew they were not having the usual Pilgrim's Mass with the botafumeiro in the Cathedral but after many, many years of waiting, I went anyway because the time was right. I gained so much on the journey itself but like everyone else I was disappointed that I could not experience the true Pilgrim's Mass & the swinging of the botafumeiro. Yes, like everyone else, I saw The Way and yes, it is a Hollywood movie which primarily focused on Tom, his son, Tom's journey & his companions on the Camino. They could only put so much in a 1 1/2 hour movie so please don't judge the movie too harshly! It's not a documentary! It's a movie with a good story about realizations & inner transformation not about blisters...! However, the Pilgrim's Mass with the swings of the botafumeiro is REAL not a Hollywood exaggeration or a fabrication! From what I see from the movie & videos, it seems to be a magnificent, powerful, beautiful, emotional... experience, that brings tears to one's eyes, a perfect ending to a long journey but, unfortunately, they are repairing the interior of the church and the Pilgrim's Mass is held elsewhere with no botafumeiro. I did have the wonderful experience of walking into the Praza do Obradoiro with other Pilgrims for the first time and seeing the Cathedral which was beyond words to describe! And, it didn't have a scaffolding on the outside either which I was so grateful for! They are working on the back side of the Cathedral. They are working on both the outside & the inside. Finally seeing the Cathedral for the first time brought strong emotions & tears to my eyes. I do feel somewhat cheated that I wasn't able to attend the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral with the botafumeiro! Michael Sheen said in an interview, "The botafumeiro, you know, the incense ceremony at the end of the Mass, brings out a deeply moving exaltation from the congregation. They burst into applause, and many of them burst into tears. And, you know, the incense is an offering to God, you know, but it’s also an ancient tradition and ritual, and we don’t have a whole lot of ritual in our lives. You know, we’ve lost more and more of ritual just within our own family structures—evening meals, evening, you know, family prayer. So, I think people are—they respond to ritual. It’s something that you can get reconnected with, in a way. You know, they’ve been doing that since the Middle Ages." Well said! Today, sadly, traditions are quickly disappearing! We, as a society have become very disconnected from long time traditions. People today just don't see their value. I love traditions! I want to take part in the long time tradition which millions of Pilgrims experienced since they started walking the Camino! I intend on walking another Camino in the near future but I will wait until they finish the Cathedral and the botafumeiro is swinging! I want that real experience! If you can wait, wait. If not, go but when you complete your Camino, I do believe you will come back for just that experience!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I would like to see a bit more civility on this thread. People have a tendency on hot topics to let their worst come out in order to shame a person for asking a question. Asking the question is not wrong. It takes courage.

Please remember there are comments that are helpful and comments that are just to make you feel better about yourself.


That's part of her quandry. Any Catholic can stay at home and practice their religion. What they can't get by doing this is the experience they are being called too. Ashley has made the brave decision to move forward. It doesn't help her that the minute she participates in the discussion she created she is slam with scornful comments. As we move closer and closer to yet another page on this thread, there will be those who will not read through the pages of responses and comment with further insult.

So like my mother taught me, if you don't have anything nice, helpful or supportive to say, don't say anything at all. Save your time of typing a snarky response to do some self-examination of your own about your attitudes to others.
If my response came across as slamming, scornful, snarky, or insulting, my apologies, both to Ashley and to all who read it. It was certainly not meant that way.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
For sure it will swing every July 25th, but not until renavations are completed.

Also, on that date you can be part of the celebration on St. James feast. The best opportunity will be on 2021 as it falls on a Sunday and is Jacobean year. So, AshleyF, prepare and GO on 2021, it’s your great chance.

Buen Camino
Certainly one can go on July 25, 2021 and be confident of seeing the botafumiero swing. Make your accommodation reservations well in advance, though, and be prepared for crowds. At other times, even when there is no construction getting in the way, it is not so certain. As I said before, just a few days a year (of which July 25 is one). For most pilgrims it is a lottery. Sometimes they get lucky, other times they do not.
 
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Bella2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019
Yes I did miss the pilgrims mass in the cathedral when I finished my Camino last week. I did visit the cathedral and attach pictures. I will just have to go again. This time the cathedral looked beautiful from the outside without the scaffolding.
 

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harmsdg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
You cant make that kind of comparison. A big mac costs a third in SA than it does in US. But we pay equally [this is called The Law of One Price - Purchasing Power Parity for the economists here].
The Cost of Living Index of Johannesburg is 109, Pretoria is 106, and Capetown is 91. Washington DC, which is extremely expensive compared to where I live, has a Cost of Living Index of 92. Besides, an international company like an airline does not set its fares based on local costs. Two like flights--length, time, day--are going to priced similarly unless there is significant competition on one of the routes. Getting a RT flight from Johannesburg to Madrid for under $500 is a steal and hardly suggestive of "very high costs" for SAs.

Perhaps word choice in your original post has colored the tone of some of the responses. By introducing yourself as a member of "one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country," you could be seen as thinking of yourself as somehow superior to others on the forum. Then, by suggesting that you will be one of the few Africans on the Camino "presumably due to the very high costs involved for us," you could be seen as placing yourself in an economic class superior to that of others on the forum. Next, by declaring that "finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the 'real' world," you could be seen as holding the rather naive opinion that all the others who walk for 5 weeks are trust fund babies or something similar, but we also have to figure out how to get that much time. Finally, and perhaps most significant is your parenthetical statement near the end of your post: "[I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]." You could be seen as declaring yourself powerful and important: you can speak to the Apostolic Nuncio! You could also be seen as extremely condescending by glossing "Apostolic Nuncio" so that the lesser, ignorant humans on the forum would be duly enlightened as to the meaning of the term. Food for thought before your next post.

By the way, the botafumeiro is not part of the mass anyway, as at least one other person has mentioned. Only after the mass has ended does the botafumeiro swing, and it is a chaotic, circus-like ending to what I think is supposed to be a meaningful and spiritual experience.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Ah, thats enough. Posts on this thread have mostly avoided breaches of the forums rules but some have had to be deleted and more probably should be. The OP has been provided with enough opinion to enable broad consideration of the presumptions of the opening post. They have assured us that they were not trolling and we have accepted that assurance; nevertheless it was a provocative post that has provoked some vigorous responses.

Its time to move on. This thread is locked for further posts.
 
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