Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It remained to go through the pilgrim rituals of going to midday mass, touching the hand of the small statue of Santiago, hugging the large statue of Santiago that looked over the sanctuary, and visiting the crypt or reliquary below. The day we were there it happened to be the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, so the bishop was there and actually gave the homily which my Spanish-speaking friends said was very good. We were also fortunate that someone had donated the money for the swinging of the botofumiero, the giant incense burner that, with great ceremony, is hoisted up and down and swung back and forth, lifting our prayers to heaven with the smoke of frankincense suffusing the air as a young man (priest or initiate) sang a moving song of praise. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, the congregation burst into applause at the end, as if it were a spectacular show of some kind, instead of a beautiful religious ritual. That was our day yesterday. I have many decisions to make about getting home and much to process in my mind about leaving the Camino. I will write about that later.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T