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What time is the service with the incense swing

Camino(s) past & future
Future:) 01 Jun 2017 SJPDP
#1
hi, hearing so many variation should on the friday the weekly service happens with the swinging invent vase. I am 2 wks out of Santiago and keen to find out what time is it and is it in a Friday. I know we can pay to have the ceremony but would much rather be there for the whole service.
Thanks all in advance

Buen Camino
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
It can swing at any mass (or no mass). In the past you could show up toward the end of a mass. Now you must be in place at the start.
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
#5
I would like to hear what other folks have found the ACTUAL frequency butafumeiro to be at the daily noon pilgrim mass. We have attended the noon pilgrim mass about a dozen times in the last 4 years and there has only been once when it did NOT swing. None of these days were feast days, or special in any way that we knew of. I know there is no guarantee on any given day (other than feast days), but my experience makes me think that on most days it does swing.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#11
IMHO, here is no substitute for seeing the Botafumeiro "fly" after you have completed an arduous Camino, at least once. This is particularly the case if you are an observant Christian, or anyone who appreciates the history and traditions behind the use of this oversized censer.

However, and NOT trying to be snarky, you can easily see the Botafumeiro fly on You Tube. There are probably hundreds of videos shot by pilgrims and tourists available there. The only difference is that you are not THERE. Smell is optional too. The incense does have an odor...

This said, and counting myself in the "cranky crowd" as well, I will impart one piece of advice. As has been said already, the Cathedral sponsors using the Botafumeiro on Catholic holy days and other significant days as determined by the Archbishop. Again, as stated above, these dates ARE published in advance. You COULD plan your Camino around these dates.

Alternatively, I have found over five-years that determining if some large group or organization will be attending Mass at the Cathedral for some purpose or another is a very good indicator that the Botafumeiro will be used. For example, each June, the Spanish military holds a commemorative Mass, or several. The Botafumeiro is used.

Throughout "the season" (Easter to October) one pilgrim or tourist group, or another entity will pay to have the Botafumeiro used at a Mass the group attends. For example, a large group of pilgrims from a parish, civic organization, club, or pilgrim society will sponsor the Botafumeiro. If you can watch the local newspaper for upcoming events like this, it would also be a good indicator that the Botafumeiro. Conversely, a tourist company, having brought several hundred tourists into Santiago, might easily pay the cost to have the Botafumeiro used.

Just as an FYI, the six fellows who pull the ropes also clean and prepare the Botafumeiro for each use. They are lay people (non-religious) who must be paid. I was informed a couple of years ago, that the overall cost for all aspects of the Botafumeiro ceremony is about €400. This explains why the Cathedral is not able to afford to fly it everyday.

In previous years, the local hoteliers & restaurant association funded the Friday 19:30 Mass use of the Botafumeiro. Their reason was simple, people would come to Mass to see the Botafumeiro. Then these folks would eat in the hundreds of fine restaurants and stay in their hotels. However, and as indicated by one posted above, this practice has apparently been discontinued. So, we are back to chaos theory and chance...

If anyone has the straight story on the Friday evening use issue, please contribute it to the dialog. I will return to work as a volunteer for a month at the Pilgrim Office, in three weeks. When I arrive, I will certainly learn the current state of affairs. But, knowing sooner, and in the forum, would help others.

I hope this helps.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#12
If anyone has the straight story on the Friday evening use issue, please contribute it to the dialog.
I thought a Galician doctor now living in the South of Spain is now paying for the Friday evening swing. Has this changed?
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#13
News to me! Does anyone have more specific information?

I had heard that (about the doctor) some months ago as well.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#15
I thought a Galician doctor now living in the South of Spain is now paying for the Friday evening swing. Has this changed?
The cathedral's own website says that the botafumeiro will not be used at the Friday 19:30 mass "until further notice". It was widely reported that Doctor Leonardo Nortes had offered to pay for it to continue after commercial sponsorship had ended. However, I do not recall ever seeing any confirmation that the Cathedral had accepted the doctor's offer.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...afumeiro-19-30-friday-mass.45019/#post-473528
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
#16
I guess it's easy to be cranky if you have already seen the Botufumeiro swing once or even several times before and/or live so close that you can go see it on the fixed liturgical feast days if you wanted to and/or know that you can visit again any time soon. Please have some empathy for @DeniseT from Australia who I believe is going to visit Santiago for the first time ... :cool:. And didn't it swing for the pilgrims of old every day ... ?

Good to hear from you again and buena suerte to @DeniseT :).
Thanks for the reminder. I think of the lady who was sitting next to us at mass in 2016. She had walked the entire Camino Frances in honor of her niece, and was already emotional from all of those feelings. When she realized that the butafumiero would swing, it was obvious that it meant a great deal to her and the tears flowed. If this is a once in a lifetime event for a person, then missing it would be disappointing.

On the other hand, I agree with other comments that we do not want to turn the Cathedral or the city into any more of a circus that it already is. Considering the challenge of the millions of visitors each year, I think they do a pretty good job.
Mike.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#17
I guess it's easy to be cranky if you have already seen the Botufumeiro swing once or even several times before and/or live so close that you can go see it on the fixed liturgical feast days if you wanted to and/or know that you can visit again any time soon.
@Katharina, as a tentative apology for all the cranky ones on here... I see the botafumeiro as a BONUS. If it swings, woh, wonderful. If it doesn't, it doesn't! EXPECTING it to swing is - in my eyes - the problem....The Camino is no Disneyland;)

Sorry if this is off topic and it certainly is not meant to disrespect the OP :oops:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#19
I may be in the cranky minority, but I really like it this way. So much of the Camino is utterly random. This oughtta be, too. Programming it cheapens the experience; it turns into another banal tourist performance piece where the Mass is lost somewhere among the I-cameras and Booking dot Com.
Well said, Rebekah. The Botafumeiro has become something of a secular icon associated with a pilgrim's arrival in Santiago, much in the same way that many now see the Camino experience as "incomplete" unless they continue on to Finisterre and/or Muxia. All pilgrims--regardless or spiritual or religious beliefs--would be wise to understand the significance of incense in general and the Botafumeiro in particular in the Catholic liturgy. This quote from the Cathedral's website explains it well:
"The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical reasons, in the same way as a priest would use a censer at the altar. It operates during the Cathedral's main solemnities during the entrance procession or at the end of the Eucharist. The purpose of this great censer is to symbolise the true attitude of the believer. In the same way that the smoke from the incense rises to the top of the temple's naves, so must the prayers of the pilgrims rise to reach the heart of God. And in the same manner that the aroma of the incense perfumes the entire basilica, so must Christians, with their virtues and the testimony of their lives, impregnate with the good scent of Christ, the society that they live in."
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#20
This quote from the Cathedral's website explains it well:
That is a bit coy! If it were completely about the symbolism, the hand-held thurible would do quite nicely. It is a "show" by the Catheral, and I don't see any reason for them to be ashamed of that. It can be designed as a show and still be an important part of the solemnity of the mass.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#21
That is a bit coy! If it were completely about the symbolism, the hand-held thurible would do quite nicely. It is a "show" by the Catheral, and I don't see any reason for them to be ashamed of that. It can be designed as a show and still be an important part of the solemnity of the mass.
Yes, you could perhaps say that it is a bit (or maybe more than a bit) of a show. I'm not sure what you mean by "them" being ashamed of it, though. I was merely attempting to make those not familiar with the use of incense in the Catholic liturgy to understand the meaning behind it. I doubt that anyone beyond the first few rows of pews would be able to see a hand-held thurible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
#22
hi, hearing so many variation should on the friday the weekly service happens with the swinging invent vase. I am 2 wks out of Santiago and keen to find out what time is it and is it in a Friday. I know we can pay to have the ceremony but would much rather be there for the whole service.
Thanks all in advance

Buen Camino
We caught it on back to back masses on a Saturday in May. Double treat for us. Masses were 10:45 and noonish.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#23
It swung at the beginning of our noon mass on Sunday May 28th when we attended. But they were displaying something during the processional. I never quite saw what it was from where I was sitting. SYates told me that was the reason it swung at the beginning of our mass and not the end. The Cathedral was packed to the rim with tourists from several tour buses. It was a nice mass but the huge crowd was a total turn off for us. I don't see myself returning to that church for mass the next time I'm in Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"2011" Portuguese "2012/13/16"Frances X 2 + Finistere" 2015" Porto -SDC "2017"Primitivo
#25
I would like to hear what other folks have found the ACTUAL frequency butafumeiro to be at the daily noon pilgrim mass. We have attended the noon pilgrim mass about a dozen times in the last 4 years and there has only been once when it did NOT swing. None of these days were feast days, or special in any way that we knew of. I know there is no guarantee on any given day (other than feast days), but my experience makes me think that on most days it does swing.
wrong, it swings when a group pay to have it done outside of the feast days. The 5-6 people who operate the device have to be available and may have to get off their normal work etc. They have lives too. I am just back and I did not see it swing 0ver quite a few masses but I have seen it before.
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
#26
I would like to hear what other folks have found the ACTUAL frequency butafumeiro to be at the daily noon pilgrim mass. We have attended the noon pilgrim mass about a dozen times in the last 4 years and there has only been once when it did NOT swing. None of these days were feast days, or special in any way that we knew of. I know there is no guarantee on any given day (other than feast days), but my experience makes me think that on most days it does swing.
That has been close to my experience too, except that our dozen times at the masses have been in three Santiago Caminos over five years, rather than over four years and include some masses earlier on Sundays - I only recall two masses when the botafumeiro wasn't used. Maybe we are just lucky but I appreciate the folk who paid for it.

wrong, it swings when a group pay to have it done outside of the feast days. The 5-6 people who operate the device have to be available and may have to get off their normal work etc. They have lives too. I am just back and I did not see it swing 0ver quite a few masses but I have seen it before.
What is "wrong"?
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#27
My experience has been that if you go into the cathedral an hour or so before the mass and the botafumiero is hanging, it will swing. If it isn't hanging it won't. Trying to predict whether it will swing or not much further in advance seems to be a mug's game. I think there is a good chance at the 1200 mass in the summertime if there are cruise ship bus tours arriving from the coast. It may well be a selling point for the bus tours that the tourists will get to see the botafumiero swing so the tour agencies will pony up for the cost. I don't think the church will publish dates or times for the botafumiero other than special feast or saint's days. It would certainly be counterproductive to getting a good turnout for masses if they announced that the botafumiero would not swing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#28
Both times I’ve walked the CF, by some mystical circumstance the pilgrim grapevine has always known when the botafumiero will swing. For anyone walking in future, listen to your fellow peregrinos. Of course the pilgrim grapevine is not always correct but it often is. And if it should be correct, listen to above advice from @Gillean and get to the cathedral to find a seat at least an hour before the service starts.
 


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