The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela announced that Pilgrim Mass will be moved from the Cathedral to other nearby Churches in all of 2019

The Pilgrim community woke up in shock this morning as the Dean of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela announced there will be no Mass at all in the Cathedral in 2019 because of the ongoing restoration works. In this article, we would like to clarify what this means, why this should not impact your travel plans and detail where you will be able to attend Mass during this time.

For the first time since it was built, there will be no service in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at all for 12 to 18 months, starting from next week, Monday, January 28th 2019.

The Cathedral & the Pilgrim Office did warn pilgrims and neighbours of Santiago for over a year that there might not be any use of the Botafumeiro during Pilgrim Mass for 6 months in 2019, but the latest news is much worst than expected:

After months of investigation and negotiation, the Dean of the Cathedral has announced today that due to the unexpected scope and magnitude of the essential works required in the interior it will be impossible to maintain the normal activity in the main altar, naves and in the chapels of the basilica.

So no Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral, no guided tour of the Cathedral, no visit of the rooftop and no Botafumeiro Ceremony until the end of the renovations!

But the Cathedral will remain open for visits in the areas not under construction, you will be able to see the newly repainted Portico de la Gloria and Pilgrim Mass will be moved to different churches around the City.

Why are these renovation work essential?

While many are disappointed and even angry at this news, we must remember that the Cathedral of Santiago is a living temple that welcomes hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a year bringing them joy and helping them discover themselves as spiritual beings; it is a reference of the Catholic religion and a jewel of architecture that must be conserved for future generations to enjoy.

The Cathedral was built 900 years ago at the height of the Romanesque period, and underwent many transformations until the second half of the 18th century, the Neoclassicism period, including also exceptional Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque contributions.

Such a complex and important temple requires permanent restorative care, which was not given during the 20th century up to the required extent due to lake of technology, budget but mostly political instability in the area. The Cathedral was in a dangerous state at the turn of the century, with in particular one of its Tower leaning towards the rooftop and serious humidity issues that were jeopardising its structural integrity.

So in 2010, the Spanish Government, the region of Galicia, the City of Santiago and the Fundación Catedral finally decided to invest 17 million euros to bring the Cathedral back to its former glory and ensure its perennity. The goal being to have the Cathedral ready for the next Holy Year in 2021!

We must then remember that if these works had not taken place, our children would not be able to witness the Cathedral’s grandeur!

If you are travelling in 2019, you might not be able to witness Pilgrim Mass as it is meant to be at the main Altar of the Cathedral but compared to Pilgrims who travelled in previous years:

  • You will be able to enjoy the splendour of the newly renovated main façade, which was finally unveiled in summer 2018 after 6 years under scaffoldings.You will be able to admire the Romanesque Portico de la Gloria as Master Mateo imagined it in 1168. The Portico reopened to visitors after 10 years renovation works to recover its former colors on the 2nd of January 2019.
  • You will be able to experience unique and intimate services in rarely seen Churches of Santiago, most being Romanesque treasures that used to never open for visitors
  • You will still enjoy the Camino de Santiago in the same way and be able to pay your respect to the Apostle Saint James, pray by his tomb and hug his statue inside the Cathedral

Will I be able to see attend Pilgrim Mass at the end of the Camino de Santiago?

We know this is the main concern for most of you and the answer is YES! There will be daily Pilgrim Mass in Santiago de Compostela. The same ceremony as before but it will be in a different location. This will be an exceptional opportunity to experience Mass in Churches that have traditionally been closed.

In particular, the Pilgrim Mass will be celebrated in the church of San Francisco at 12 pm – midday daily.

The church of Santa María Salomé, on Rua Nova, will host the celebration of the Eucharist at: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00am and 7:00 p.m. from Mondays to Sundays. There will be additional services, Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

The original 9th century church of the Cathedral, the Corticela, will remain open and offer Mass at 11 am, as it is part of a different parish. Entrance into the Capilla de la Corticela is through the Cathedral next to the Puerta de la Azbachería.

There will be Mass in different languages ​​distributed between the churches of San Fructuoso (Rua das Hortas downstairs from the Obradoiro), San Fiz de Solovio (by the Abastos market), Santa Maria Salomé (Rua Nova) and the chapel of Pilgrim Office (rúa Carretas, 33). – Timings to be advised later.

The main solemnities and festivities will be celebrated in the Church of San Martín Pinario (the second largest building in Spain on the Azabache Square of the Cathedral).

The Cathedral will remain open to the faithful the whole time during its normal opening hours, from 9 am to 7 pm, although some spaces might be closed off. But entrance will be from the Platerías Door only. There will be a double system of entrance and exit through different doors on the Platerías Square to facilitate the circulation in the Temple.

You will be able to embrace the statue of the Apostle in his dressing room and descend to the apostolic crypt.

Detailed Mass Times in the different churches of the City of Santiago – subject to change – see The Cathedral Website for updates

Monday to Friday

7:30 h.SANTA SALOMÉ
8:15 h.MONASTERIO DEL CARMEN MONASTERIO M. MERCEDARIAS
8:45 h.HUERFANAS
9:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SAN FERNANDO
SANTA SALOMÉ
9:30 h.N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO
10:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SANTA SALOMÉ
11:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SANTA MARIA DE LA CORTICELA
12:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN FRANCISCO
18:00 h.SAN CAYETANO
18:30 h.IGLESIA DE PASTORIZA
19:00 h.N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO SAN JUAN APÓSTOL
SAN PEDRO APÓSTOL
SANTA MARÍA DE SARSANTA SALOMÉ
SANTA SUSANA: IGLESIA DEL PILAR
19:15 h.CAPILLA VIRGEN DEL PORTAL
19:30 h.CAPILLA DE LA ANGUSTIA SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN FRANCISCO
SAN LÁZAROSAN MIGUEL DOS AGROS SAN PAIO DE ANTEALTARES
20:00 h.MONASTERIO DE SANTA CLARA SAN FERNANDO
20:30 h.SAN BENITO DEL CAMPO
21:00 h.SANTA SALOMÉ

Saturdays

7:30 h.SANTA SALOMÉ
8:00 h.SAN PAIO DE ANTEALTARES
8:15 h.MONASTERIO DEL CARMEN MONASTERIO M. MERCEDARIAS
9:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS HUERFANAS
SAN FERNANDO
SANTA SALOMÉ
9:30 h.N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO
10:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SANTA SALOMÉ
11:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SANTA MARIA DE LA CORTICELA
12:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN FRANCISCO
18:00 h.SAN FRUCTUOSO SANTA SALOMÉ
18:30 h.IGLESIA DE PASTORIZA
19:00 h.CAPILLA DE SAN MARCOS
N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO SAN JUAN APÓSTOL
SAN PEDRO APÓSTOL
SANTA MARÍA DE SAR
SANTA SALOMÉ
SANTA SUSANA: IGLESIA DEL PILAR
19:15 h.CAPILLA VIRGEN DEL PORTAL
19:30 h.CAPILLA DE LA ANGUSTIA
SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN FRANCISCO
SAN LÁZARO
SAN MIGUEL DOS AGROS
20:00 h.MONASTERIO DE SANTA CLARA SAN CAYETANO
SAN FERNANDO
20:30 h.SAN BENITO DEL CAMPO
21:00 h.SANTA SALOMÉ

Sundays and Bank Holidays

7:30 h.SANTA SALOMÉ
9:00 hCAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS CAPILLA DE LA ANGUSTIA
N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO SAN LÁZARO
SANTA SALOMÉ
9:30 h.SAN FERNANDO
10:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS SAN CAYETANO
SAN SILVESTRE
SAN FRUCTUOSO (en galego) SAN PEDRO APÓSTOLSANTA SALOMÉ
10:30 h.SANTA MARÍA DE SAR
11:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS HUERFANAS
MEIXONFRIO
SANTA MARIA DE LA CORTICELA
11:30 h.SAN LÁZARO
IGLESIA DE PASTORIZA
CAPILLA DE LA ANGUSTIA (en galego) SANTA SUSANA: IGLESIA DEL PILAR
12:00 h.CAPILLA GENERAL DE ÁNIMAS CARMEN DE ABAIXO (en galego)
MONASTERIO DEL CARMEN MONASTERIO M. MERCEDARIA SN. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN BENITO DEL CAMPO (en galego) SAN CAYETANO SAN FERNANDO
SAN FRANCISCO
SAN JUAN APÓSTOL
SAN PAIO DE ANTEALTARES SANTA SALOMÉ
12:30 h.MONASTERIO DE BELVÍS
SAN MIGUEL DOS AGROS
SAN PEDRO APÓSTOL (en galego) SANTA MARÍA DE SAR
SANTA SUSANA: IGLESIA DEL PILAR
13:00 h.IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE SAN FERNANDO
SANTA SALOMÉ
18:00 h.N. SRA. DE LA MERCED DE CONXO SANTA SALOMÉ
19:00 h.SANTA SALOMÉ
SANTA SUSANA: IGLESIA DEL PILAR
19:15 h.CAPILLA VIRGEN DEL PORTAL
19:30 h.SAN FRANCISCO
20:00 h.MONASTERIO DE SANTA CLARA SAN AGUSTÍN
SAN FERNANDO
21:00 h.SANTA SALOMÉ

How far are they in the renovation?

While most of the renovation is finished they still need to work on the roof and inside. The program for the next 12 months include works on:

  • The roof (head of basilica) (1): renovation of the covers of the Main Chapel and the chapels of the ambulatory, introducing new solutions that favor ventilation.
  • The roof (main nave and cruise) (2): renovation of the covers, introducing new solutions that favor ventilation and waterproofing.
  • Vertical walls of the ambulatory and parapets and vaults inside the basilica (3)

COMPLETED WORKS

The Fundación Barrié de la Maza started 12 years ago the restoration of the Portico of Glory, which can now be visited for €12 (€10 for pilgrims) along with the entrance of the Cathedral Museum – https://tickets.catedraldesantiago.es/en-GB/informacion-recinto/2/portico-gloria

  • Acibechería façade: restoration of the architectural ensemble (2009).
  • Quintana façade: restoration of the Royal Portico in 2010 and actions on the Holy Door (patio and railing) in 2015.
  • Clock Tower: restoration of the architectural ensemble in its outer part and partially on the inside.
  • Main chapel: first phase of restoration of the marble sheets delimiting it in the ambulatory.
  • Obradoiro façade: full restoration of the ensemble of the façade in three phases: north tower, south tower and central body, terrace and crypt.
  • Dome: restoration of the architectural ensemble, including both the medieval and the Baroque stonework as well as the rehabilitation of the large original ogival windows.

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Ultreya Tours

Ultreya Tours is a incoming Tour Operator specialized in organizing comprehensive and highly personalized walking tours for groups and solo travelers on the Camino de Santiago. Founded and based in Santiago de Compostela, we know the region of Galicia and the secrets of the Camino by heart. Let us introduce you to our vision of the Camino.

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