Santa Iglesia Catedral Basilica de la Encarnación (Diocese of Málaga, Andalusia, Spain)

Date of Review: I attended midnight mass at midnight on December 25, 2022 (apparently they still do some things right in Spain), presided by Bishop Jesús Esteban Catalá Ibáñez, and assisted by a number of other priests.

Architecture: Started in the 1500s and ended in the 1700s, the cathedral was built in stages. The North tower, shown in the foreground above, was completed, and the South tower was left unfinished. There is a choir nave in the center of the church, and the organ is built into the sides of the choir nave.

Celebrant(s): The Bishop presided and one of the other priests proclaimed the gospel. My Spanish is a bit rusty, but the gospel was focused on how Jesus is the Light of the World.

Congregation: The church was really full given the amount of seating, including some individuals standing. The congregants seemed to be a mixture of tourists and locals, including a fair number of individuals who did not speak Spanish.

Decor: This is one of the older cathedrals I’ve visited, and the evidence of construction from the 1500s-1700s is evident.

Location: Right in the middle of the city center, it is also located right by the city’s main harbor.

Musicians: An organist and a nun who was the soloist/cantor. They started with Adeste Fideles in Latin as the processional music, did Noche de Paz (Silent Night) for the communion hymn, and el Tamborilero (Little Drummer Boy) for the recessional. The recessional started with the cantor and organist, but ended with only the priests and bishop singing the song.

Volunteers: A number of altar servers were the only real volunteers.

Overall: Old Cathedrals are always a win. The location, decor, and service make this one to see (or see again)!


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