Day 9: The End of the Journey
By Anne Crawford and Debbie Jenevein
Last night we were privileged to worship in a beautiful old church, Santa Susana. As we neared the church we were greeted by the melodious sounds of bagpipes.
The Reverend Mary Lessmann was invited by Father Colin to celebrate the sacrament of Eucharist. We were fortunate to partake in this most sacred of celebrations now that Santa Susana allows Anglican worship. The Spanish Episcopal Church is establishing a pilgrim center in Santiago …note photo below.
We started off our morning excited to finally entered the Cathedral of Santiago (Saint James). The current day structure was built in 1075 and took 136 years to complete. It has a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. We were allowed to enter the cathedral through the Holy Door because 2021 is a Holy Year in the Catholic calendar. The interior of the church is exquisite! One main feature is the Botafumeiro , which is a vessel filled with incense that swings the width of the cathedral during the pilgrims’ mass. We also toured the cloister and the crypt. The crypt houses the bones of Saint James. As we exited the cathedral , we walked silently in awe of what we had just experienced.
One constant through our whole pilgrimage was the Camino shell symbol. This symbol guided our path daily. The scallop shell is found in abundance around Galicia,Spain. The various grooves of the shell represent different pilgrimage routes that converge in a single destination – the tomb of Saint James. In past centuries, pilgrims were given shells that could be used as scoops to quench their thirst on the journey.
Although our group may have walked the Camino for many different reasons, we all finished our pilgrimage with a heightened sense of God‘s purpose for our lives.
Many thanks to our fearless leaders, Rev. Mary Lessmann and Margaret Spellings.