Being sent as a pilgrim
How does a pilgrimage start? One way is to put on your backpack and just start walking. Another way is to be sent through a simple ritual in a church.
Pilgrims are sent regularly from Lund Cathedral on longer or shorter walks. Sometimes a whole group is going for a pilgrim walk and sometimes it is a single pilgrim. The sending is helt in the crypt of the Cathedral, at its oldest altar consecrated in 1123 to the desert wanderer John the Baptist.
The sending includes prayer, text reading and worship for those who want. The ceremony ends with singing while walking through the Cathedral to the great gate where the pilgrim is waved off.
The pilgrim of the Middle Ages was always given a passport for the journey. In the passport the priest guaranteed that the person in question was a true pilgrim and asked people that she or he met on their way would supply food and lodging.
Today’s pilgrim can also bring a pilgrim passport as a greeting and a blessing. The churches that the pilgrim passes can stamp the passport.
A pilgrim passport can be issued before you leave to bring along on your journey.
Pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela must buy the Camino’s own passport to be able to spend the night at the shelters along the way.
Pilgrims who have travelled to the major holy shrines around the world can buy a pilgrim certificate confirming that they have arrived. A pilgrim certificate is now available in Lund Cathedral.