7:29pm: Two priest and a young man holding our Cross of St. James stand at the back of St. Nicholas in Portomarin.
7:30pm: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling echoes throughout the 11th century church, dominated by male voices. The priests then process through a packed church to celebrate Pentecost Mass surrounded by peoples from all nations (as it should be on Pentecost, don’t you think).
It was as amazing as it sounds. It raised the hair on the back of my neck.
A mere 6 hours before, Mass wasn’t even scheduled to be said in the town for the rest of the day. Father Chad had contacted the priest and he had given us permission to have an English Mass for our group at the aforementioned 7:30pm. Then the Spirit got to work. Larry and Father saw people walking up to the church doors. They quickly let them know that Mass would now happen that evening. After fielding these questions for a while, they posted a sign sin scribbled handwriting on the front of the door that let people know that Mass would be said in English tonight.
Apparently, word got around quickly and by the time we arrived 7:20, we had to sit in some of the first few rows since those were the only ones left. Several people just stood against the wall.
Max crushing the 1st reading
A couple of the young men from our group did the readings and spoke with authority and clarity. Father Chris, who has a voice like an angel, sung the Sequence. Then he read the Gospel and gave a great homily. It really was one of the most beautiful Masses that I have been to. Also, unlike a lot of other Masses we go to on the Camino, most everyone received communion. It was inspiring.
It really was the most beautiful moment I have had on the Camino and it was all organized in less than 6 hours. The Advocate was active today in Portomarin!