Pilgrim’s Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro by the Tiroboleiros, Santiago Cathedral

Pilgrim's Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro_IMG_4840.tif

Pilgrim’s Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro_

We have been home from the Camino to Santiago Spain for quite some time, and it is taking quite a while to sift through all the photos from the trip. I like a lot of people busy with regular work and lifestyle tasks and distractions. Each day when I have a few minutes I work on my photos, and it is wonderful to re-live the memories.

The first things most pilgrims do, and we were no exception, is to visit the Cathedral.  We stopped by, but we were soaked to the bone as it had rained heavily that day.  We saved our visit to the inside for the following day, when we would be dressed in dry cloths, and have time to see, sit and enjoy all the sights. We arrived early enough to get a seat, by the time mass started the Cathedral was full, barely standing room available. They announce the number of pilgrims arriving in the previous 24 hours from each country.

The ceremony culminated in the swinging of the botafumeiro (smoke belcher) a massive silver incense burner.  It takes eight men, a team of clergy called tiraboleiros to get the incense burner swinging across the cathedral.  The botafumeiro, said to be the largest in the Catholic world and dates back to 1851, it is this part of the ceremony that the pilgrims have been waiting for, and it was so thrilling in a way that can’t be described. The energy in the Cathedral amazing. It was such a moving experience we actually attended Mass the next day to see it again.

for more of our camino images click here

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