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proper church dress

Nanc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
As we visit cathedrals and churches, what is appropriate gear these days? In photos submitted to the forum of pilgrim masses etc, i do not see any head coverings. Are pants and shorts ok?
thanks Nanc
 
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simply B

Guest
@Nanc -

There can be a certain amount of discretion reserved to the local custom (and priest) but here is one certainty -
"No head coverings necessary!" (Not for years now.) But if you pick up a mantilla as a souvenir, wearing it will put you in good stead with the local ladies.

Pants are okay. Shorts are okay as long as they are the modest "hiking" version - somewhere around knee-length, maybe a bit shorter.

The standard rule that I have generally seen enforced (around the world) goes wayyy back and has to do with tops. The rule is this "No sleeveless tops or sundresses."

Buen Camino,

B
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I twice saw mantillas (in Burgos) in eight caminos and many masses-- Queen Sophia wears one at mass and, if memory serves me well, so does Queen Letizia. Simply B's advice sounds sensible to me.
 

SYates

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

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Also, in my experience, people can distinguish between pilgrim on the way and pilgrim already in albergue. On the way you can just walk with whatever you wear into an open church, if you are already settled, aka showered and changed, and then want to go to mass or simply look inside a church people do appreciate longish trousers to shorts. Buen Camino, SY
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
As we visit cathedrals and churches, what is appropriate gear these days? In photos submitted to the forum of pilgrim masses etc, i do not see any head coverings. Are pants and shorts ok?
thanks Nanc
There are two circumstances to consider: visiting a cathedral or church as a site-seer, and attending Mass. It seemed to me that priests and parishioners were quite pragmatic about pilgrims walking in 'as they were' if the church was open. For Mass, I have always taken the approach that I will dress modestly within the limits of my walking wardrobe. For me, that generally meant long pants, long sleeved shirt and closed toe footwear, although on the CF I occasionally wore sandals. I have heard of some churches in Spain (and elsewhere) requiring women to cover up from knee to elbow, but I never saw anywhere on the CF or CI where such a rule was being applied.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Mantillas are, or were, a thing mostlt from the south of Spain. Today they are worn on very special occasions: religious weddings that require "black tie" attire, an audience with the Pope, Easter week processions. They are not to be confused with the toquilla.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Mantillas are, or were, a thing from the south of Spain. Today they are worn on very special occasions: religious weddings that require "black tie" attire, an audience with the Pope, Easter week processions and apparently bullfights. They are not to be confused with the toquilla.

And as an extra note "In accordance with what is known as the privilège du blanc, whereby Catholic female monarchs and the consorts of Catholic monarchs wear white when meeting the Pope, while black is traditionally, though now only optionally, worn by others, Queen Sofia of Spain wore a white mantilla at the requiem mass for John Paul II and at the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. "
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
I carried a very thin silky pashmina like shawl. It was very handy for many occasions.
I remember attending Sunday service in Lisbon where the handed out coverings for the ladies that wore tank tops or no sleeves. After service on your way out you handed them back. I thought this to be very practical.
 
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spursfan

Veteran Member
Even at mass I've never felt the need to have worn anything other than my hiking shorts and t-shirt - you can always find a space at the back or in the aisle if you don't want to be too conspicuous - others can easily see that you're a pilgrim by your pack and unshaven face - and give generously to the collection
 

Devon Mike

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
Just a quick note for newbies to the Camino. When you get to Santiago you are not allowed to take your pack into the Cathedral and there is nowhere you can securely leave it, so I would recommend finding your accommodation first and leaving your pack there. Also be sure to take off your hat if wearing one as the security staff are very quick to approach you for that.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
thanks all for the input= though not catholic, I am obviously old enough to be thinking head and arm coverage in church
glad to hear we can be respectful but practical
Nanc
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
thanks all for the input= though not catholic, I am obviously old enough to be thinking head and arm coverage in church
glad to hear we can be respectful but practical
Nanc
Oh dear, thank you for asking, especially as you are just looking to be polite as you take on the local culture.

Wear your Camino gear unless it's made up of yoga pants and skimpy tops, that is ;0)... And if it does include a tank top, skinny upper, just add your fleece or other long sleeved item.

But I for one would love to see a picture if a pilgrim in a white mantilla over pilgrim gear!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Just a quick note for newbies to the Camino. When you get to Santiago you are not allowed to take your pack into the Cathedral and there is nowhere you can securely leave it, so I would recommend finding your accommodation first and leaving your pack there. Also be sure to take off your hat if wearing one as the security staff are very quick to approach you for that.
@Devon Mike, its not entirely correct to say there is nowhere to securely leave your pack. For example, the Correos offers a left luggage service (see here) and the pilgrims office claims to offer a left luggage service (see here) although I couldn't find any more details than that. There was wide discussion on the cathedral ban on entering with a backpack at the time, with the usual rants that objected to having to pay anything at all for services the cathedral had organized to assist pilgrims faced with this dilemma.
 
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Devon Mike

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
@Devon Mike, its not entirely correct to say there is nowhere to securely leave your pack. For example, the Correos offers a left luggage service (see here) and the pilgrims office claims to offer a left luggage service (see here) although I couldn't find any more details than that. There was wide discussion on the cathedral ban on entering with a backpack at the time, with the usual rants that objected to having to pay anything at all for services the cathedral had organized to assist pilgrims faced with this dilemma.


My point was that there is nowhere at the Cathedral to securely leave your pack. I am aware there are other places in Santiago which offer such a service.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
My point was that there is nowhere at the Cathedral to securely leave your pack. I am aware there are other places in Santiago which offer such a service.
Sorry, I didn't get that nuance from your post. As long as others know that finding accommodation is not the only option if they want to secure their pack, etc.
 

Inbar

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2015; Camino Portugues October 2017
I wore my regular clothes, I had no others. I think as long as you keep your shoulders and knees covered (and long pants are probably better), and don't show any cleavage, you're good. Some people carry 'nice' clothes around which I personally find useless (and heavy), everyone knows you're a pilgrim the moment they land their eyes on you. Just being respectful is enough.
 

purplesage

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais, Finisterre and Muxia (2012) , Camino Portuguese 2014, Camino Inglese 2015, Camino Muxia 2015, Incomplete part of CF 2015 ... will hopefully finish later this year
Just a quick note for newbies to the Camino. When you get to Santiago you are not allowed to take your pack into the Cathedral and there is nowhere you can securely leave it, so I would recommend finding your accommodation first and leaving your pack there. Also be sure to take off your hat if wearing one as the security staff are very quick to approach you for that.
@Devon.... There ARE places to leave your backpacks outside the Cathedral. Near the enterance area, there are shops just before the steps going down to the old pilgrims' office. The first one is a shop selling all sorts of trivia and in a corner is a lady who has a shop selling delicious 'pilgrim's cake or santiago cake'. These people keep your pack @2 euros a day. The other places are the post office further down the road, the pilgrims' office does keep your pack for the same 2 euros.
 
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