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The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - Printable Version

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The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - 10th_Crusader - 07-13-2012

I saw this Youtube video of the very large censer (botafumeiro) in the Church of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.



The censor is huge! It looks like a big gold-plated chiminea or barbecue grill.

It seems to be mostly a tourist attraction, but do they also use it more reverently for mass? Why don't more large churches use this type of censer?


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - Phillipus Iacobus - 07-13-2012

It is something that makes Compostela unique.


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - jonbhorton - 07-13-2012

I wonder how the original proposal went?

"Guys, I have this idea. It involves a censer the size of a small boulder, hundreds of feet of rope, and it swings through the middle of the sanctuary. What ya think?"

Obviously conceived in a male mind.


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - 10th_Crusader - 07-13-2012

The physics of it is interesting. They need 6 or 7 men on the ropes to counterbalance the pendulum force of the censer. You wonder what happened the first few times they tried to use it. I can just see someone's feet leaving the floor - and guess which direction they were going to swing? Ouch!

I think the catcher is pretty courageous too, because he basically has to snag onto a wrecking ball that's barreling towards him.
What happens if he misses the mark?

After all, this is the same nation where people get together so they can jog in front of charging bulls....

And I agree: this thing was definitely a male invention.


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - Gerard - 07-13-2012

Holy Smoke!


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - DrBombay - 07-13-2012

Fits in well with the 18 inch hosts they like to use at the NO.  I saw one pic of a Mass in France where they used a chalice that was I would guess at least 10 gallons.  I kid you not. 


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - Hawaii Five-0 - 07-14-2012

I saw this in person back in 1985.  It was awesome.  The tour guide told us that the massive censer has been in use since the Middle Ages because the Cathedral was usually pack with pungent pilgrims who had made the way of St. James.  It's one big BO buster. 


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - Antonius Josephus - 07-14-2012

I've always loved the smell of traditional incense. I'd be over the moon with that thing burning.


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - MorganHiver - 07-14-2012

A group of Catholics working in unison to prevent a potentially smoldering pot of fire from destroying the mass? We need these guys to do some sort of TEAM PLAYER workshop for the higher ups!

And what's with the applause at the end? I bet a lot of people left once the priest began to speak.


Re: The Huge Censer in the Church of Santiago de Compostela - ggreg - 07-14-2012

(07-13-2012, 10:20 PM)jonbhorton Wrote: I wonder how the original proposal went?

"Guys, I have this idea. It involves a censer the size of a small boulder, hundreds of feet of rope, and it swings through the middle of the sanctuary. What ya think?"

Obviously conceived in a male mind.

They probably replied, "that would be cool"

And it is.