Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 38 Santiago - the Botafumeiro and the Mass

The mass today - the Botafumeiro has been lowered and the incense lit- great puffs of smoke rise, which in Catholicism is a form of prayer.  It takes 6 men to swing the Botafumeiro using a careful system of pulleys..  The cathedral is one of the 3 most holy places of Christendom.  The church was begun in 9C , somewhere around 820 AD ..  A simple hermit saw stars in a field and when the field was investigated, a funeral monument was discovered with 3 bodies inside - the head of one of these had been cut off and the inscription read, Here lies James, son of Zebbeddee.  The apostle James after preaching in Spain had been beheaded by Herod in 44 AD and his disciples put his head and body in a ship going to Galicia.  Queen Luga in Galicia helped them bury  the saint.  She gave them bulls to pull a cart to a burial ground.  To the amazement of all, the bulls behaved like oxen completely tame and at one stage stopped and wouldn't move.  So the saint was buried here.  A simple church was built around this, and eventually the city of Santiago...


Here it is being lowered.. There is an air of anticipation and excitement..


The lighting...6 men in maroon and a number of priests in white..


It swings right up to the Gothic arches, and I cannot believe how high it is swings.. Will it touch the roof ?   But it doesn't... And after a few minutes settles and gently swings before it is caught and raised again...


We go to the Francescan Church to fet a Compostela celebrating 800 years since St Francis of Assissi was in ?Santiago having completed the Camino...a simple monk with no airs and graces.


We plan to be on the road again, riding to Finisrerrw, the end of the ?World... But will it rain ? 



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