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Pilgrim Mass

ginniek

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 2017
Maybe it's my advanced age, but I somehow have always thought that if you are at any religious service--doesn't matter which one--you were expected to show at least a modicum of respect for all concerned. Consequently, today at the noon Pilgrim Mass in Santiago I was, as they say, shocked and appalled by the way many, many attendees seemed to treat it as if it were just some form of entertainment through which it was acceptable to talk, wander around, take pictures, leave early, etc.

The music was beautiful.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Yup, it's a great big show with so many. No matter what the security guides do, or the calls for solence and no pictures being taken. Nrace yourself before attending.
 

Coleen Clark

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Walked August 2015, planning on walking August 2017
Treat the experience as you treat your Camino, especially the last 100 k.
Allow your mind to wander and accept the distractions, then disregard them and focus on your objective, the mass itself.
When you permit others to interfere with your experience by their actions, you give them the power of changing your world.
You cannot change others when even the announcements and ushers are unable to control them.
Give yourself the gift of ignoring them, they may be so caught up in the moment they have forgotten where they are.
Besides, custard pies are not allowed in the Cathedral, so don't let a certain pilgrim on this forum (David) talk you into that.
 
N

NoQ

Guest
Maybe it's my advanced age, but I somehow have always thought that if you are at any religious service--doesn't matter which one--you were expected to show at least a modicum of respect for all concerned. Consequently, today at the noon Pilgrim Mass in Santiago I was, as they say, shocked and appalled by the way many, many attendees seemed to treat it as if it were just some form of entertainment through which it was acceptable to talk, wander around, take pictures, leave early, etc.

The music was beautiful.

What you say is very much true, for July and August particularly.
However, there are other times when the cathedral is very quiet. The 7.30 am mass, held in a side chapel, is very tranquil and without people wandering around. It is a fabulous time to be in the cathedral.
Also, after attending the evening pilgrim's mass, there may be an announcement to partake in a celebration of sharing camino experiences and praying and then a special visit, all this while the cathedral has closed its doors.
 
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Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Must say the noon mass at the cathedral left a sour taste at the end of my Camino. I'm not particularly religious so perhaps I have no real right to complain, but it very much felt as if we were treated like the poor cousins at the cathedral. We had walked hard to make it to the mass in time and secured some of the last remaining seating space at the foot of one of the columns only to be told that we couldn't have our backpacks with us (they were in no-one's way) despite there being no sign to that effect when we entered. Of course by the time we returned it was standing room only and our place had been taken by people who clearly hadn't walked very far if at all.

I totally buy into the whole "everybody has their own unseen struggle to get to Santiago" argument but as someone who had walked 800kms and had lost 8 toenails and most of the skin on the soles of my feet to blisters getting there I do think a little more consideration could have been shown over those arriving by bus or plane. Perhaps it was just one overzealous usher, but I really didn't feel welcome.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
@Dorpie They used to allow backpacks in the cathedral but don't now because of security issues.

Ah, interesting. Do you know when that came in? We were there precisely 2 years ago, almost to the minute! Perhaps they hadn't ironed out implementation yet.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
@Dorpie, sorry that your experience in the cathedral was not a good one. Backpacks have not been allowed inside the building for several years now, understandably so because of the terrorist risk. It's a shame that you and your fellow pilgrims were not aware of this before you arrived. For those not yet in the city be aware that the Correos office can store your backpack for a small cost and I believe the Pilgrim House offers a similar facility.
As to the availability of seating for pilgrims at the 'pilgrims mass', well I have sympathy with you but I also observed in 2015 a tiny, frail, very elderly woman crouching at the base of a pillar until a fellow pilgrim asked our group to squash together a little more to make room for her to so she could be properly seated. You may not be particularly religious but on my second visit I had learned not to expect good manners let alone Christian attitudes to be made manifest in the scramble to get the seats offering the best 'shots' of the 'spectacle'. Agree with @Coleen Clark about focusing on the what matters to you about the mass, the place and the journey and tune out the other stuff, then later attend the small mass in English held in one of the side chapels.

added: I was there in May 2015 and there was a no backpacks rule in operation, so you must have just snuck yours in taht time.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Thanks for the info Seb, will definitely make use of it when I get there in August. The story of the elderly woman certainly rings true and is disappointing as a finale to what is mostly a month long journey of seeing the best in tolerance, consideration, kindness in humanity.
 
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Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Past OR future Camino
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
Treat the experience as you treat your Camino, especially the last 100 k.
Allow your mind to wander and accept the distractions, then disregard them and focus on your objective, the mass itself.
When you permit others to interfere with your experience by their actions, you give them the power of changing your world.
You cannot change others when even the announcements and ushers are unable to control them.
Give yourself the gift of ignoring them, they may be so caught up in the moment they have forgotten where they are.
Besides, custard pies are not allowed in the Cathedral, so don't let a certain pilgrim on this forum (David) talk you into that.
Perhaps lining them up and letting the Botafumeiro go might knock some of them out. Just a thought..........
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
In 2015, if memory serves me right, I was surprised to see that some rows of pews by the side of the altar wete reserved for,pilgrims with a Compostela. But I have not seen it since. I have yet to ever get to participate in mass from a pew, always standing room, or sitting on the base of a column. Makes one remember every km walked on those sore feet.
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I sat at the base if a pillar in the Transept. Everyone took video and pictures of the botafumeiro and it was only after that, when mass really started, that the security guys enforced the no foto thing. A lot left after that flew. I don't care. It didn't affect my experience. I was just annoyed at the crowds in general. I had lunch with one of the concelebrants and he said they had to remind some of the priests not to take pictures inside the sacristy :) everybody wants pictures of their time in the cathedral.
Heck, wedding masses are videod and nobody cares.
 

Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Past OR future Camino
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
I sat at the base if a pillar in the Transept. Everyone took video and pictures of the botafumeiro and it was only after that, when mass really started, that the security guys enforced the no foto thing. A lot left after that flew. I don't care. It didn't affect my experience. I was just annoyed at the crowds in general. I had lunch with one of the concelebrants and he said they had to remind some of the priests not to take pictures inside the sacristy :) everybody wants pictures of their time in the cathedral.
Heck, wedding masses are videod and nobody cares.
Unfortunately we are in a media driven society now everybody trying to hold onto the experience to relive it later. It has been proven scientifically if we just look at something in the moment we remember it better and not just through a lens.That said it's good to have something to look back on but it is also important to be respectful to remember you are in a scared space. I am sure Jesus understands the human fickle heart. St Peter tried to capture the transfiguration by building tents he was trying to hold on to the moment but sometimes we just have to let it go and hold onto the experience in our hearts where the memories never fade.
 

Curt Leiker

thecurtster
Past OR future Camino
Planning to walk from SJPDP in August (2017)
Nancy and I are beginning our walk mid August. We are Catholic and are walking for spiritual strengthening. We look forward to mass at Santiago botafumeiro or not. But I can't deny the attraction of getting to see that huge insensor swing. The sweet smoke carrying your prayers to heaven. The grand spectacle of it. The blessed intent behind it. A product of faith that may affect for the better even those who just go for the tourist experience. So just let the show go on, tourists and all. When we get there, forewarned, hopefully we will be patient and understanding.
 

Kieran Kenneally

Inspired
Past OR future Camino
Stages on both French and Northern routes. Plan to walk Tui to Santiago in June 2017
Nancy and I are beginning our walk mid August. We are Catholic and are walking for spiritual strengthening. We look forward to mass at Santiago botafumeiro or not. But I can't deny the attraction of getting to see that huge insensor swing. The sweet smoke carrying your prayers to heaven. The grand spectacle of it. The blessed intent behind it. A product of faith that may affect for the better even those who just go for the tourist experience. So just let the show go on, tourists and all. When we get there, forewarned, hopefully we will be patient and understanding.
purification and sanctification linking heaven and earth for all who believe
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Past OR future Camino
Not enough
I sat at the base if a pillar in the Transept. Everyone took video and pictures of the botafumeiro and it was only after that, when mass really started, that the security guys enforced the no foto thing...
It swung at the beginning of your mass? I've never seen that. Does anyone know when they do that, as opposed to using it at the end of the mass, just before the final blessing?

Nancy and I are beginning our walk mid August. We are Catholic and are walking for spiritual strengthening. We look forward to mass at Santiago botafumeiro or not. But I can't deny the attraction of getting to see that huge insensor swing. The sweet smoke carrying your prayers to heaven. The grand spectacle of it. The blessed intent behind it. A product of faith that may affect for the better even those who just go for the tourist experience. So just let the show go on, tourists and all. When we get there, forewarned, hopefully we will be patient and understanding.
My story has nothing to do with you, I am sure, but your comment reminded me of something from a two weeks ago - in a very tangential way. The camino family was sitting in a restaurant in Santiago and we were discussing the behavior during mass. One young pilgrim friend came up with this quote that floored me. I think she also wanted to take it back very quickly even before she saw my jaw hit the floor. "I thought everyone was pretty good through the whole mass and then WOW! Just at the most important part of the mass, when the botafumeiro swings, almost every single person pulled out their cameras!" We all had a good laugh. There were a lot of Catholics at the table.
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
It swung at the beginning of your mass? I've never seen that. Does anyone know when they do that, as opposed to using it at the end of the mass, just before the final blessing?...

As far as I know it is used if something is processed in at the beginning of the mass, like during the feast of Translatio (commemorating the arrival of the remains of St.James on the coast and its travels to his final resting place in nowadays Santiago). BC SY
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
As far as I know it is used if something is processed in at the beginning of the mass, like during the feast of Translatio (commemorating the arrival of the remains of St.James on the coast and its travels to his final resting place in nowadays Santiago). BC SY
This was the procession but I couldn't make out what it was from my view point.
 

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