The Singing Nuns

Come to Carrión de Los Condes and you’ll meet “The Singing Nuns”. They aren’t your average sisters.

Every night, at 6PM a small group of nuns host a sing-a-long. They pass out song sheets, invite everyone to give an introduction, say the country they are from, and share why they are doing the Camino.

After the round of introductions, anyone is invited to share a special song from their country of origin. It doesn’t have to be spiritual, just meaningful. The evening opened up with a ballad from Italy. Afterwards, I felt compelled to raise my hand to share something.

Lately, there have been two songs we sing to Hudson each night before bed: Amazing Grace and a custom song. We recreated the song Down to the River to Pray by Allison Krauss, also featured in Brother Where Art Thou, to represent our Camino journey. The main chorus:

As we walk down the Camino to pray,
Studying about that ancient way.
And who shall wear the shell and cross
Good Lord, show me the Way.
Oh, Hudson, let’s go down.
Let’s go down, come on down.
Oh, Hudson, let’s go down.
Down the Camino to pray.

Everyone sang along with us in unison, while Hudson ate a cracker and played in the middle of the room, everyone surrounding him (even a Korean documentary film crew).

The evening continued as we sang the chorus of Amazing Grace, La Bamba, the South Korean national anthem and 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman, which also happens to be the song we choose for our wedding ceremony. The combination of songs so personal to me with 50 others from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. felt oddly serendipitous and holy.

It was a night I won’t easily forget.


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