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St. James gets a face lift?

mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Couldn't help but notice when visiting the cathedral last week that St. James -- in addition to being off-limits for hugging -- has lost his infamous wide-eyed, startled look. I'm a little surprised that such a venerable icon can be modified so dramatically. Has anyone else noticed this? Other observations: we found a surprisingly large number of pilgrims on the trail, so much so that when joining the Frances from the del Norte we had to wait for a gaggle to pass when leaving Arzua. Bars and cafes were really busy everywhere, and unlike on previous walks we found relatively few foreigners compared to Spanish pilgrims. I would estimate that 80% or more were Spanish. We were under the impression that the traditional national vacation season was over, but apparently not as far as the Camino is concerned. Also it was very disappointing for our devout Catholic hiking companions that they just missed getting into pilgrim mass at the cathedral by a couple of positions in the queue. Seems like there ought to be a way to give entry preference to actual worshippers over "secular pilgrims" hoping to see the botafumeiro like my wife and I. Really nice weather, though, from our start in Vilalba to Santiago except for one slightly rainy day. All in all it was another wonderful experience although different from our previous walks.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Im not sure how ( or why) you would differentiate between "actual worshippers" and "secular pilgrims". Surely all are equal who wish to come into the house of God.
I think all are equal but attending Mass actually has significance to Catholics beyond a “tourist thing we do when on Camino”…it can be difficult to differentiate however, other than the obvious tourists pretending to be pilgrims who talk/high-five each other throughout Mass, or dress inappropriately. I understand the disappointment of those who are making a pilgrimage based on their religion to a place of significance to their religion and be kept out because there are people there just “doing what ‘pilgrims’ do”… tourists playing pilgrim who care little to nothing about the Mass (or even actively dislike Catholicism and it’s teachings). if i was visiting Jerusalem and there was a limit on how many could visit the Western Wall, I would feel Jewish people had priority over me. Ymmv.
 
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mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
I'd like to see a photo
Im not sure how ( or why) you would differentiate between "actual worshippers" and "secular pilgrims". Surely all are equal who wish to come into the house of God.
secular: 1) of or relating to worldly things that are not regarded as religious or sacred; 2) not pertaining to or related to religion.
Thus in this sense I am referring to people visiting the cathedral just as tourists, and not as worshippers or even Christians. I agree that all are equal as visitors to the house of God (or any other place) but it should be obvious that not all visit with the same spiritual mindset or intent.
 

Plataman

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
secular: 1) of or relating to worldly things that are not regarded as religious or sacred; 2) not pertaining to or related to religion.
Thus in this sense I am referring to people visiting the cathedral just as tourists, and not as worshippers or even Christians. I agree that all are equal as visitors to the house of God (or any other place) but it should be obvious that not all visit with the same spiritual mindset or intent.
Seems to me refraining from judging the reasons or circumstances of those who come to the cathedral is to be avoided. Who are we to judge?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Seems to me refraining from judging the reasons or circumstances of those who come to the cathedral is to be avoided. Who are we to judge?
No one is judging anyone. It would be nice if there was room enough for everyone to attend Mass. if there isn’t, it would be nice if people for whom Mass holds no religious significance gave priority to those for whom it does (Mass isn’t a Disneyland attraction). But that’s obviously not going to happen.
 

mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Seems to me refraining from judging the reasons or circumstances of those who come to the cathedral is to be avoided. Who are we to judge?
Refraining from judgement is to be avoided? Wouldn't that make one judgemental? And while not judging anyone I think it is safe to assume that many visitors (Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc.) do not have the same worshipful intent as Christians and especially Catholics. But I now leave this fruitless discussion and regret I brought it up.
 
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Scott Sweeney

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I think all are equal but attending Mass actually has significance to Catholics beyond a “tourist thing we do when on Camino”…it can be difficult to differentiate however, other than the obvious tourists pretending to be pilgrims who talk/high-five each other throughout Mass, or dress inappropriately. I understand the disappointment of those who are making a pilgrimage based on their religion to a place of significance to their religion and be kept out because there are people there just “doing what ‘pilgrims’ do”… tourists playing pilgrim who care little to nothing about the Mass (or even actively dislike Catholicism and it’s teachings). if i was visiting Jerusalem and there was a limit on how many could visit the Western Wall, I would feel Jewish people had priority over me. Ymmv.
I wouldn't say the mass has any difference to those of other denomination's or faiths. Now the Eucharist is definitely more of a difference to Catholics. The church welcomes all to experience mass.
 

Ivan_Prada

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
I wandered into the local church in A Guarda out of interest and failed to notice the mass had started. All I could do, without causing offence, was to sit quietly until the end.

Afterwards, I wondered if He was reminding me I hadn't been to mass in a while.... mysterious ways and all that.
St. Theresa of Avila said:
“God writes straight on crooked lines.”

As you mentioned the way God’s way in “communicating” with you.
 
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tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
No one is judging anyone. It would be nice if there was room enough for everyone to attend Mass. if there isn’t, it would be nice if people for whom Mass holds no religious significance gave priority to those for whom it does (Mass isn’t a Disneyland attraction). But that’s obviously not going to happen.
I have seen much bad behaviour during Mass in the cathedral including people receiving communion who are not Catholic regardless of the announcement made in many languages that they should not receive. The worst was a man pushing his way to the front of the line for communion, snatching the sacred host from the priests hand and stuff it in his pocket. I was so enraged I started after him when my friend Mees (RIP) put his hand on my shoulder and calmly stopped me. Mees was not a Catholic like me, but his behaviour in Catholic churches put me and many other Catholics to shame. He stopped me from becoming bad behaviour at Mass. On the point of being refused entry to the cathedral because it was full up, I understand the disappointment. On pilgrimage to Knock, Ireland, recently, I was turned away just as it came to my turn to enter. I got into the next Mass but had to be in the line very early. I understand the reasons in that because of Covid, churches can not be as full as they used to be but God willing, we will get back to normal soon. Finally, it is impossible to decide who should enter and who should not. I am Catholic but how do I prove it in a foreign land with my poor Spanish. At the end of the day, it is up to each persons own conscience. Remember, the botafumeiro is not important at Mass, it is the Consecration and if you are disappointed and upset you did not see it swing then you are missing the whole concept of the ceremony.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Back to the original topic: is there a photo of the old versus new St JAMES face?
I cannot find anything that says that the statue of Saint James at the High Altar had been cleaned and restored to such an extent that the expression on his face had changed. I find only articles about the cleaning/restoration work concerning his cape, crown and staff. All three items had been removed last year and later put back on again.

There is also a nice video on the Cathedral's website (click here) that shows how a smaller statue of Santiago Peregrino from the area of the High Altar had been cleaned. This video has before and after images.

Santiagos.jpg
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I am reminded of something Jesus said when the Righteous demanded preferential treatment over the unbelievers: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus always comes down on the side of the poor, the badly behaved, the outsiders and the ignorant. Dammit.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
No one is judging anyone. It would be nice if there was room enough for everyone to attend Mass. if there isn’t, it would be nice if people for whom Mass holds no religious significance gave priority to those for whom it does (Mass isn’t a Disneyland attraction). But that’s obviously not going to happen.
It would be, but as there isn't, how about going to a different mass at another time? I've been to some wonderful services in the side chapels.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Jesus always comes down on the side of the poor, the badly behaved, the outsiders and the ignorant. Dammit.
But ... didn't Jesus also get very angry once about the abysmal behaviour of some guys at the temple?

People, this is a futile discussion and we all know it. It would help if they stopped flying the Botafumeiro upon request and against payment/donation. Or if they stopped reading out the number of pilgrims and their countries who had arrived the previous day. None of this is necessary for Mass.

It won't happen.

Any opinions on whether the medieval statue at the centre of the High Altar of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela got a significant face lift in recent times? Does it look different to those of you who had been there repeatedly?
 
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Next up 2022?
Or if they stopped reading out the number of pilgrims and their countries who had arrived the previous day. None of this is necessary for Mass.
No it's not, but that part is special to many people. It feels like closure on that particular camino.

in addition to being off-limits for hugging
And there will be no more embracing the Saint? Too bad. I always love going up there and remembering all the elders along the way who asked me to carry their prayers to Santiago.

Is it a covid thing that's temporary, or do they want to further limit tactile pilgrim rituals?
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Im not sure how ( or why) you would differentiate between "actual worshippers" and "secular pilgrims". Surely all are equal who wish to come into the house of God.
Reminded me of the Sunday morning in New York when I and a friend wanted to go to "worship services" at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. I had no idea how popular it was. When I travel I like to go to a church service now and then, and, of course, preferably in a "special" setting. To cut a long story short (and I was suitably enraged because I regarded myself and my friend as worshippers and not tourists and how could they dare to deny us access), we were in the part of the long queue that were eventually told that they would not let us in.

There are plenty of other Christian churches in the area that hold worship service at the same time. We trotted off and went to one of them. A good lesson: When you want to worship you don't have to go to THAT service in THAT cathedral. How many Catholic churches and chapels are there in Santiago and how many Masses are held every day?

In case anyone is curious how they handle high demand in these pandemic times: https://abyssinian.org
 
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mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
But ... didn't Jesus also get very angry once about the abysmal behaviour of some guys at the temple?

People, this is a futile discussion and we all know it. It would help if they stopped flying the Botafumeiro upon request and against payment/donation. Or if they stopped reading out the number of pilgrims and their countries who had arrived the previous day. None of this is necessary for Mass.

It won't happen.

Any opinions on whether the medieval statue at the centre of the High Altar of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela got a significant face lift in recent times? Does it look different to those of you who had been there repeatedly?
I tried to find some older pics of the Saint and found lots of apparent variations, and I'm now persuaded that lighting has a lot to do with it. I'm not very good at either pics or attachments but the two below may illustrate what I mean -- here's hoping they show up at all. There seems to be more -- and more even -- light on the second pic which I took a week or so ago, and to me it looks like his eyes are more closed. Or maybe I was just projecting my need for a nap on poor St. James. As to other things, the abrazo line was closed and the attendant said it was because of covid. That makes sense because we know James would hate to be a vector for disease.

And, Kathar1na (gratuitous and unrelated observation coming) a lot of theologians don't know how to interpret Jesus' actions against the money changers at the temple. The money changers were there to convert various currencies into one standard coinage, the Tyrian shekel, that was used for the payment of the annual temple tax. Both the selling of animals for sacrifices and the payment of the temple tax were activities required by Jewish law and central to the temple’s functions.
 

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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I tried to find some older pics of the Saint and found lots of apparent variations, and I'm now persuaded that lighting has a lot to do with it. I'm not very good at either pics or attachments but the two below may illustrate what I mean -- here's hoping they show up at all. There seems to be more -- and more even -- light on the second pic which I took a week or so ago, and to me it looks like his eyes are more closed. Or maybe I was just projecting my need for a nap on poor St. James. As to other things, the abrazo line was closed and the attendant said it was because of covid. That makes sense because we know James would hate to be a vector for disease.

And, Kathar1na (gratuitous and unrelated observation coming) a lot of theologians don't know how to interpret Jesus' actions against the money changers at the temple. The money changers were there to convert various currencies into one standard coinage, the Tyrian shekel, that was used for the payment of the annual temple tax. Both the selling of animals for sacrifices and the payment of the temple tax were activities required by Jewish law and central to the temple’s functions.
They were required activities, but NOT within the temple confines. The temple as designed included no space for money-making enterprises. They kinda "crept in" over time, I suppose, with approval and $$ benefits to the temple administrators.
 

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