The Cathedral of Santiago is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Compostela. It is the seat of its Archbishop, and this is the reason for the name of the cathedral. It owes it singularity to the housing of the tomb of the Apostle Saint James, which as of the 9th century turned it into one of the most important sanctuaries of Christendom, receiving pilgrims from all over the world.
It is, above all, a house of prayer and the centre of sacramental life, which fosters the reconciliation with God through the sacrament of penitence and the growth of Christian life through the Eucharist. Its context is full of historical echoes and palpitations.
Don Julián Barrio Barrio
has been Arzobispo de Santiago de Compostela since 1996.
The Chapter, as a college of priests who execute, together with the archbishop and the universal Church, their priestly ministry in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela by serving the People of God, has the unique purpose of being the keeper of the relics of the Apostle Saint James.
Its ordinary functions also include:
- Preparing and celebrating the liturgical acts in the Basilica.
- Solemnise Sunday and festive days.
- Celebrating on a daily basis the Conventual Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Providing adequate pastoral and liturgical attention to the faithful.
- Promoting the cult to Saint James.
- Undertaking the historical responsibility of the Cathedral: origin and culmination of the Way of Saint James.
- Welcoming and encouraging pilgrims.
- Fostering historical, cultural and artistic studies related to the Saint James tradition.
Chapter of the Catedral de Santiago
- Ilmo. Sr. Don José Fernández Lago, Deán Presidente
- M. I. Sr. Don Manuel Silva Vaamonde
- M. I. Sr. Don Víctor Benedicto Maroño Pena, Doctoral
- M. I. Sr. Don Salvador Domato Búa
- M. I. Sr. Don Luis Otero Outes
- M. I. Sr. Don Daniel Carlos Lorenzo Santos, Director de la Fundación Catedral.
- M. I. Sr. Don Elisardo Temperán Villaverde, Secretario Capitular y Prefecto de Ceremonias
- M. I. Sr. Don Segundo Leonardo Pérez López, Presidente de la Comisión de Peregrinaciones.
- M. I. Sr. Don José María Díaz Fernández
- M. I. Sr. Don Antonio Suárez Carneiro
- M. I. Sr. Don Ramiro Calvo Otero
Every day, at 12:00 noon and 7:30 pm
Capilla de la Soledad, from 10 am to 12 am
Capilla Nuestra Señora del Pilar, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm
-Holy Mass in English language: every day, 10:30 am
Chapel of the Pilgrim’s Reception Office
*Masses for groups are in the Chapel of the Pilgrim’s Reception Office (More info at email@example.com).
The Chapter of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela offers the possibility of celebrating a Mass in the Basilica of the Apostle Saint James. To do so, it is necessary to make a formal request by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying the reason for holding the Mass, and making a donation or stipend for the amount of 10€, or the customary amount given in each country:
Titular: SAMI CATEDRAL DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Entidad: SCH – IBAN: ES97 0049 2584 90 2214012533 – BIC/SWIFT: BSCHESMMXXX
The Botafumeiro (“censer” in Galician) is one of the most famous and popular symbols of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is a large thurible that hangs by means of a system of pulleys from the main dome of the Cathedral and swings toward the side naves. It takes eight men to move it, who are known as “tiraboleiros”. It weighs 53 kg and measures 1.50 metres; it hangs from a height of 20 metres and can pick up great speed.
The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical reasons, in the same way as a priest would use a censer at the altar. It operates during the Cathedral’s main solemnities during the entrance procession or at the end of the Eucharist. The purpose of this great censer is to symbolise the true attitude of the believer. In the same way that the smoke from the incense rises to the top of the temple’s naves, so must the prayers of the pilgrims rise to reach the heart of God. And in the same manner that the aroma of the incense perfumes the entire basilica, so must Christians, with their virtues and the testimony of their lives, impregnate with the good scent of Christ, the society that they live in.
The first documented reference to the Botafumeiro is an annotation in a page from the Codex Calixtinus, where it is referred to as “Turibulum Magnum”. Throughout history there have been several thuribles; today there are two; one made from brass dating from 1851 by José Losada, which substituted the one stolen during the French occupation and which is the one that is used normally. The second Botafumeiro is a replica in silver of the previous one and was given to the Apostle by the Provisional Second-Lieutenants in 1971. It is only placed in the cathedral’s transept when it is in use, and it is kept in the Chapter Library.
The Botafumeiro operates during the following Solemnities:
- The Epiphany: 6 January
- Resurrection Sunday
- The Apparition of the Apostle-Clavijo: 23 May
- The Martyrdom of Saint James: 25 July
- The Assumption of Mary: 15 August
- All Saints: 1 November
- Christ the King
- The Immaculate Conception: 8 December
- Christmas: 25 December
- Transfer of the remains of the Apostle: 30 December
The Botafumeiro can also operate for pilgrimages that have duly requested it from the Cathedral. To reserve the Botafumeiro write an email to: email@example.com.
[NOTICE: Due to restoration works inside the Cathedral, until further notice, there will be no Botafumeiro ceremony]