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Pilgrim Mass in Santiago

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#1
http://youtube.com/watch?v=0P1R2GxpuNY

Portions of the noontime mass at the Santiago cathedral. Includes the full ritual of El Botafumeiro, the incense burner. Also includes Marine Liquard singing Ave Maria at the end of the mass.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#2
Would it be grouchy of me to say that I don't like it when masses of people take photos and mill about during the service? Makes it seem more like a spectacle than Mass...

:(
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#3
Pilgrim Mass

In the middle ages they used to eat, play musical instruments, sleep and even fight in the cathedral - espcially duting all night vigils. (Hopefully not during mass though!)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
...and then there's the traditional story of how the botafumeiro came about (when?), a giant, medieval, version, of what today may be regarded as a mod deodorant, swinging in the heavens to keep away the stink of trillions of God-fearing peregrinos! Yes, it is a bother when one is praying or meditating, with folks taking pics around u,and what not...though I must confess before this honorable forum that I have been guilty of such a deed... :oops: Best, xm 8)
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#5
I'm inclined to Minkey's view. This is after all the 3rd most holy site in Christendom and some seem to regard it as something of a spectacle. I guess it must be quite common as I recall The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem being like a bun fight-and that was 23 years ago.
 

marktqm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006)
#6
Somehow I think St James prevented me from doing such a touristy act when he made my camera crash on the pavement the moment I arrived at the Plaza do Obradoiro. (Never ever use the TrekPod as a tripod on a windy day.) I intended to take pictures too, like what xm did.

Anyway, maybe St James wants me to complete my photo journey one day. Great excuse to walk the camino again. ;-)

Mark
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#7
...and at the risk of sounding sacrilegeous, I took King Juan Carlos' cue a few years ago and had my pic taken while I was giving the statue of Santiago behind the altar the traditional hug. It is one of my most precious photos. Best, xm 8) PS: I forgot, there's also the one taken when I had the honor of reading the epistle during a pilgrims' mass, and a group photo (with the Bishop no less) when I became a member of the Archicofradia. And then...hmm...better stop here...
 
#8
Grouchy .... to each his or her own thoughts when you are faced with flashing cameras and difficulty in squeezing past tourists and other pilgrims through the half open doors into the cathedral during the midday mass.

In another posting it has been pointed out that there is another mass in the evening which is quieter and may suit those who prefer that sort of thing.

There are many who take umbrage at things such as cell phone ringing, coughing, crying, not in their opinion properly dressed, etc at the Mass. The whole matter is like a triangle, once you eliminate cellphone ringing, one tries to eliminate the next irritation which rises to the top of the pyramid.

The priests conducting the Mass were a glum group, the ushers were a miserable lot, the priest behind St James statue looked bored, the immediate switching off the lights after the Mass, even before the priests left the altar, was so unfriendly, to ask them to stop cameras and videos, as at the Sistine Chapel, is perhaps making the visit to the Cathedral much less inspiring than it can be. This did not put us off, even seeing the crumbling lichen filled mossy Cathedral walls, rusty gates showing signs of neglect, beggars smoking at the entrance, hawkers, wet weather, it is a part of the Camino.

Tolerance, peace, harmony, Christian give and take is what we learnt on the Camino.

Grandpa Joe
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#9
I think I read somewhere recently that the botafumeiro will only be used for 20 masses per year. Did anyone else read this? If so, I wonder if they will publish a schedule. Apparently it had become too costly to use each day.

And I have to agree that the throngs of people milling about and talking is quite distracting and impacts on the beauty of the mass.

Peace,
lynne
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#10
Hubbub in the cathedral

It seems that the cathedral has a raucus tradition going back for most of its existence so, if its authentic tradition you are looking for, milling rowdy crowds are a part of its history!
In Walter Starkie's book he mentions Jeronimo Munzer from Nuremberg who was so shocked by the hubbub in the cathedral, the money grabing clerks and the noise which was so great that he would have believed himself at a fair.
Starkie writes that in their descriptions of the cathedral, early travellers continually refer to the turbulent crowds of pilgrims that kept arriving at the cathedral night and day with loutish pilgrims being conducted through the basilica like herds of unruly sheep, pushing and butting their way through the aisles while the everyday congregation tried to follow the celebrant of the Mass at the high altar.
In the twelfth century, Diego de Gelmirez occupied the cathedral, turning it into a fortress with cows and horses stabled in the aisles and the men cooking, dining and sleeping inside.
It was the custom of thousands of pilgrims to group themselves into nations and sing songs to the accompaniment of their musical instruments. Thousands of pilgrims jostled for places close to the altar in order to see the crypt containing the body of the saint resulting in fierce battles where so much blood was spilt that the basilica had to be re-consecrated.
Every part of the cathedral was thronged with people who camped there for days and nights, and so foul did the atmosphere become that braziers of incense were lit. According to the Codex Calixtinus, the great botafueiro was fashioned to swing through the transept in an attempt to purify the church.
 
#11
Not wishing to be controversial but it seems to me as ever the Church faces both ways on this. On one hand Mass is the central act of worship when the faithful gather and like many other major Cathderals the ushers go around trying to stop people talking and taking photographs...on the other the Pilgrims' Mass is promoted as a tourist attraction with tour buses arriving in time for the Mass and tour operators paying for the use of the Botafumeiro.

In the Cathedral there are many other Masses - for example there is a High Mass at 9.30 am where the Chapter of Canons sing the Office just before Mass begins. When I was there the Cathedral was empty.

The cathderal authorites have also introduced an evening service for pilgrims only - they actually announce it at the noon Mass as being only for those who have travelled to Santiago by foot, horse or bicycle. This is from 9 - 10pm and concludes with a private visit to the Tomb of St James.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#12
several have said that it used to be noisy and rowdy in the past.we are not in the past. I found it amazing that mindless idiots were talking through the solo singing of the nun.Do these cretins think we want to hear them rather than the beautiful singing.If you want to talk go to pub where you belong
 
#13
Limpiarse en el Rio Lavacolla

Anonymous said:
...and then there's the traditional story of how the botafumeiro came about (when?), a giant, medieval, version, of what today may be regarded as a mod deodorant, swinging in the heavens to keep away the stink of trillions of God-fearing peregrinos! Yes, it is a bother when one is praying or meditating, with folks taking pics around u,and what not...though I must confess before this honorable forum that I have been guilty of such a deed... :oops: Best, xm 8)
Historically, prior to entering into the Cathedral of Santiago, pilgrims were to cleanse themselves as they passed through the river lavacolla which, literally translated, is a crudish, 'clean (ones) rear'. But the entire river seemed to have disappeared sometime in the past as i failed to see it when i passed through that leg right prior to summiting the Monte de Gozo. I did not get to see the botafumeiro at work either, regretfully. But The Pilgrim's Mass I attended during the middle of November then was much smaller, quieter, and more reverent than those being reported now.
 
#14
you were probably looking for something large, but the "river" is only a small stream called the Sionlla (at the place that became known as Lavacolla) that rises up by the airport. You cross over it shortly after crossing the main road to the airport.

Bernard of Angers complained when visiting Conques in the 11th century that the pilgrims got bored with the mass, which they couldn't understand, and sang their own songs instead.
 

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