To walk the Camino is supposed to be good for the soul. It is also hard on the feet. Today we traveled 20.6 km from Burgos to Hornillos del Camino, from city into empty country, through some little villages and finally to a small village dominated by a church with it’s population likely doubled by pilgrims.
We began our day standing in the street outside our hotel, holding hands and sharing a prayer. The prayer was in French, led by our guide. Here is that prayer:
God, You called your servant Abraham from Ur in Chaldea, watching over him in all his wanderings, and guided the Hebrew people as they crossed the desert. Guard these your children who, for the lover of your Name, make a pilgrimage to Compostela. Be their companion on the way, their guide at the crossroads, their strength in weariness, their defense in dangers, their shelter on the path, their shade in the heat, their light in the darkness, their comfort in discouragement, and the firmness of their intentions; that through your guidance, they may arrive safely at the end of their journey and, enriched with grace and virtue, may return to their homes filled with salutary and lasting joy.
-Codex Calixtinus- 12th Century
Sharing those words together as we set out on our journeys, each with their own goals, hopes, dreams for the trip, was a special moment. It was a moment that drew us together again as a group, but also as children of a God who loves and cares for us.
We ended the day in the church in Hornilos del Camino, a church that could likely hold the entire population of the own a number of times over. We had asked for a place to have a Eucharist Service for our group and were offered the church. Our service was attended by only twelve people, our group and two other pilgrims, but it was very meaningful as we shared the bread and the wine together, each one of us coming from a different religious tradition, yet bound together by this sacrament. I have never sung in such a space before. It was wonderful.