Another Sunday on the continent, the third language, after Spanish and French. We'd been in Leon, Santiago and Chartres on previous Sundays, and so when in Delft we wondered where to go. We didn't fancy the big rather dour Protestant barns, and thought we'd continue with the Catholic that we'd got so used to, and so went to Maria van Jessekerk in Delft centre. On entering, we heard the notes of what was clearly a very fine organ indeed, which was what we needed to hear. After the botafumeriro, one gets a bit of a taste for the grand version of everything, which one might as well enjoy while it is there. There was an air of expectancy, people kept looking round towards the back of the church. The Caminella reads:
"...and then they came, streaming in through the square-topped doors just like in the poster from Santiago, and actually much more like the poster than anything in Santiago ever was. They were of all ages, some with rucksacks, all had lit candles, and there was a bishop leading. Seems like there was some big pilgrimage from several places around, and I think I felt a little stab of envy at not being in the pilgrim procession, as I do remember seeing the poster of Santiago and romantically expecting that we would process into Santiago cathedral rather than scrambling in by a side door, and bagging a place leaning against a pillar. But all pilgrims have to be most of the time the host church welcoming pilgrims in."
There must have been hundreds of them, and it was a very moving sight; we sang a Marian hymn over and over to a tune we started off not knowing, and in the end were joining in in Dutch. The language thing was interesting, a kind of reverse-Pentecost experience. We were onto the 3rd language of our time away, but as the eucharist is of such familiar shape, there was never a sense of not knowing what was going on even if one's attention drifted away from persevering with one's schoolgirl French or phrasebook Spanish (D of course had 'A' level Spanish). It made me think that we could do with more Latin in our services rather than less, since it acts as a kind of Esperanto punctuating it, and we might as well make the most of a common language.
|Maria van Jessekerk, Delft.|
|It's not England!|
Back in Delft, a normal Sunday with footie fever in full swing. (We were pleased that both Holland and Spain got to the final, then we didn't mind who won. But for Spain to win in its St James Holy Year was pleasing.)
|Writing the Caminella within tent.|
Crikey, can't you SEE my desperation? Tomorrow in 2010 terms we come home on the ferry - just one more day to go - and I'm still lacking 'enlightenment' a year on in 2011! The other day I thought what a good idea it would be for pilgrims to sew a small loop onto every garment one takes so that it can be hung from one's travelling ruck-sack washing line with no danger of loss of a sock. Where is the longed-for Big Idea, or the attitude change that would mean I'd sail through life from now on with a seraphic smile exuding calm and tranquillity wherever I go? Be honest, it isn't going to happen in the next 24 hours is it?
|The paper camino.|