Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coming soon before bedtime, the giant censer (botafumeiro) of Santiago Cathedral in live action

I've known about it for years, but this is the first time I've ever seen it live, courtesy of kto at the end of this morning's Mass from Santiago. (Please God I will see it again when our Holy Father visits in November.) The thing weighs about 175 pounds and is about 5 feet tall. It takes eight men at the end of ropes in the sanctuary to control it. The present version was cast in 1851 and is suspended from a pulley, put there in 1604, in the dome of the Cathedral

The video I will post was made on the feast of St. James three years ago. The colour is poor but the tremendous excitement is conveyed, as is the faith of Spain... and also the power of the thing as it comes low enough towards the end of its flight for one of the 8 to grab hold of it and stop its motion. Its power twirls him round three times. The same effects were palpable and visible this morning.

Here, we usuall have fireworks to celebrate July 25. Who needs them, when you can have the botafumeiro!

God bless Spain, and of course , all here.

1 comment:

pelerin said...

Thanks for showing us that Jane. It really is extraordinary. It was a pity the commentator talked all the way through though - I would have liked to have heard the singing - and he did not even stop when the Bishop started speaking either! I have no idea what he said but guess it was explaining the reason why this ceremony takes place.

I did not see the kto programme this norning - shall see if the video is up yet and hope there is less commentary on that! I presume Spain does not have the 'elf and safety to worry them! I would be terrified the rope would snap - not enough faith me!! And you could see the flames inside.