The Camino de Santiago Anchorage Chapter Pilgrim Shell Ceremony

Program for the Anchorage Pilgrim Shell Ceremony

Program for the Anchorage Pilgrim Shell Ceremony

The Anchorage Chapter of the American Pilgrims On The Camino held their first shell ceremony on 4/6/17. The first part of the meeting was a quarterly orientation for people interested in getting more information about walking the Camino. The second part was the shell ceremony. Billy and I were given our shells and the group recited a prayer from the Codex Calixtinus that dates back to the 12th Century. A very moving ceremony and the symbolic start of our Pilgrimage. We will carry these shells on our backpacks as a sign that we are pilgrims to the tomb of St. James in Santiago.

 

Pilgrim Blessing

This was the first ceremony held by the Anchorage Chapter since its founding last year. They invited those of us leaving on a Camino this year to come up to the front of the room. The pilgrim blessing (shown on the left side of the pamphlet above) was then recited by member and pilgrim veteran Gale Armstrong.

Guard these who make a pilgrimage to Compostela.
May they find companions on the way,
have guidance at the 
crossroads, find strength in weariness,
be afforded defense in dangers, have shelter on the path,
find shade in the 
heat, find light in the darkness,
find comfort in discouragement, and have firmness of their intentions,
that they 
may arrive safely at the end of their journey and,
enriched with grace and virtue,
return to their homes filled with

salutary and lasting joy.

After the blessing he handed each of us our shells and said:

To you, Irene and Bill, receive this shell, the badge of a pilgrim.

 

Beatitudes of The Pilgrim

The People: (Response Together)

Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you find that the Camino opens your eyes to the unseen.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if what concerns you most is not arriving, but arriving with others.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you contemplate the sights of the Camino and find them full of names and of new dawns.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, because you have discovered that the true Camino begins at its end.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if your backpack empties of things as your heart doesn’t know how to fit so many emotions.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you discover that a step backwards to help another is more valuable than a hundred forward taken without awareness of those at your side.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you search for the truth and make of your Camino a life, and of your life a Camino.  
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if on the Camino you meet yourself and make yourself a gift of time without hurry, so that you may not neglect the image of your heart.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you find that the Camino is rich with silence and the silence is rich with prayer and the prayers are encounters with the Spirit that awaits you.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you have no words to give thanks for all the wonders in every nook of the Camino.
Blessed are you, pilgrim, because you have discovered that the true Camino begins at its end.

By these shells, may all recognize you as pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Now that you are on your Camino, may the love and peace of God be with you always. And may you, attentive to his voice, pass through the countryside sowing goodness

END OF CEREMONY

 

Our lovely patch to adhere to our backpacks.

Alaska Camino Chapter Patch

 

Now we are 34 days from the start of our Camino. I have a couple of fun posts planned between now and then. I am interviewing Stacey Wittig, author of several Camino guides. And I’m doing a review of photography apps for the iPhone 7 Plus. Designed for those people who don’t want to haul their DSLR with them on trips but still want/need the RAW file feature.

Tell us what you think! Please leave a comment.

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