Dear Blog Readers
October 23, 2010
Santiago - Pilgrims Mass Day at the Cathedral
Wow, must be tired - slept in until 9:15 a.m. - have a quick breakfast and off to find a seat at the Cathedral - get there at 10:15 but earlier mass is still on - church is filled - as soon as mass is over get a seat and put my bag down to save a spot for Rick - Roberta joins me but we soon lose the struggle and the pew is filled - it is about 1 1/2 hours until our noon mass and there is already no room in the church.
People begin to jossel each other for standing room - young novice priests continuously beg for silence in the cathedral - more pushing, shoving and down right nasty behaviour from those trying to get a spot to stand. One man prompty refuses when asked by a church volunteer to move - he plants his Camino stick into the stone floor and begins to give the man a piece of his mind - all this while a priest takes the congregation through a song we will repeat during mass.
When the mass begins the whole situation gets worst - now people are rushing into areas where they were asked not to stand - those in the back like us, are now looking at the back of people standing in front of us - to see the altar you must peek between the heads of those in front.
I concentrate on the altar or what I could see of it. There is a large statue of St. James´upper body - all the while the mass goes on, people are going around the back of the alter to hug St. James, they pat his face which faces the front of the church where we can all see what those behind are doing - this is no longer a solumn service, for me this has turned into a circus act - and I cannot even say a prayer!
Poor Rick who has lost his seat, decides he would much prefer to be on the Camino and leaves the mass - Roberta and I stick it out, but find ourselves talking about all the mini disagreements happening around us. I am most disappointed when I don´t hear Canada during the mass for the Canadian pilgrims - several of us are in the church - we get lumped in with ´Norte Americanos´. The priests does remember to name every village, town and city in Spain where pilgrims had come from - for me this is nonsense, since most of these people had only walked the final 100 kms. See I´m no longer charitable in church, I´m not petty!
Anyway, left the church after the mass - have two of the young people, Vanessa from Quebec and Eugene from Florida join us for lunch back at the hotel. After, we three, Rick, Roberta and me go to a large mall looking for some new clothes - no luck, we could not give our money away.
Return to have tea and do some local souvenir shopping.
Off to Finnsterra - ´the end of the world´ tomorrow by bus.
Blessings from Santiago,