Sunday, February 2, 2014

VIDEO: My Dad and the Gigantic Thurible of St. James

My Dad and brother Tony just finished hiking the last 120 miles or so of the Camino.  My Dad, over a year ago, long before he had even begun to think about doing the Camino, began sending our family videos of the "Botafumeiro" - the "smoke belcher" - the gigantic thurible that swings throughout the sanctuary and apse of the Cathedral of St. James in Compostella which is the Cathedral that the Camino ends at.  It is the burial site of St. James. 

Perhaps it was my Dad's former days as a physics teacher, but he was so jacked about the "smoke belcher".  There was a week where I think he sent our family three different videos of the massive thurible swinging through the cathedral at 45 miles per hour.

So when my Dad decided to hike "The Way" of course he was hoping and praying that they would fire up the "smoke belcher" when he and my brother rolled into town.

As my Dad and brother came into the Cathedral this past Friday, they asked if the "Bota" would be used at Mass that day.  The workers at the Cathedral told them, "no, we only use it about five times a year on special occasions."  My Dad was obviously dejected, but still thrilled to be in the beautiful Cathedral.  They found a Mass time, and decided to explore the Cathedral until Mass.

At the noon Mass for pilgrims, about halfway through Mass, all of a sudden it became clear that yes, in fact, the "smoke belcher" would be used, to the utter delight of my Father.  Here's the footage of my Dad happier than a kid in a candy store:

Only in a Catholic Church would you get crazy awesome stuff like this.  I love being Catholic!

Buon Camino!


  1. Howzabout a mini- (micro-?) version for Annunciation as part of the repair/renewal project?
    smells, bells and 'watch your head'...

  2. Thrilled the "special occasion" was a gift from the Holy Spirit for your Dad!

  3. I had the pleasure of being one of your Dad's chemistry students and loved hearing that chuckle again! Glad it brought such joy for him!