Santiago – Pilgrim Mass

Every day at noon there is a special Pilgrim Mass for the hundreds of peregrinos pouring into the city every day. We attended the mass the day we arrived and the next day when Fr. Jim helped celebrate the mass.
The day we arrived we headed down to the Cathedral just down the hill from our pension.
We didn’t know what side of the cathedral we were on so we just when in the first steps We came to.
It was actually a side entrance into one of the trancepts.It was only 11:20 but it was already packed. There is destong for 1000, but the sides are full of standees. We found seats in front of the altar.
The highlight of the mass for pilgrims is the lighting and swinging of the botafumerio. If you saw “The Way” you’ll remember it well. And it is indeed amazing!! It’s the largest one in the world weighing 175 lbs and 5 feet high. It is lit then takes six priests to raise it and get it swinging up to 80 kph. Originally it is said that it was to cover the ‘odor’ of the unwashed peregrinos and help with any diseases. Nowadays it is only used on special ooccasions or if someone or a group donates €400. We were very lucky in that we saw it on both days! Unfortunately the first day I didn’t get very good pictures, but on the second day we sat in the trancepts and it went right over head and I got a great video. But I don’t think there is any way to upload it to the blog. Chris sent a link to a video in a comment to the first Santiago post. Check it out. But here are some of my poor shots.
Brian and several of the friends that Fr. Jim walked with were able to receive communion from him. He gave me a lovely blessing. I tried to get a picture of him in his borrowed red robe but he was exiting too fast.


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