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by Catherine Frakas 19 Aug 2001

More about incense Here is some more information about incense.....
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 21, 2000 From the Ceremonial of Bishops:
84. The rite of incensation or thurification is a sign of reverence and of prayer, as is clear from Psalm 141 (140):2 and Revelation 8:3.
85. The substance placed in the censer should be pure sweet-scented incense alone or at least in larger proportion than any additive mixed with the incense.
86. At the stational Mass of a bishop incense should be used:
during the entrance procession;
at the beginning of Mass to incense the altar;
at the gospel, in the procession and at the proclamation of the gospel reading;
at the presentation of the gifts, to incense the gifts, the altar, the cross, the bishop, the concelebrants, and the people;
at the elevation of the consecrated bread and cup after their consecration.
At other Masses incense may be used as circumstances suggest. [71] 8
7. Incense is also to be used as indicated in the liturgical books:
in the rite of dedication of a church or altar;
in the rite of blessing of oils and consecrating the chrism, as the blessed oils and consecrated chrism are being taken;
at exposition of the blessed sacrament when the monstrance is used;
at funerals.
88. In addition, incense should as a rule be used during the processions for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday), the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Easter Vigil, the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), and the solemn translation of relics and, in general, in any procession of some solemnity. 89. At the solemn celebration of morning or evening prayer the altar, the bishop, and the people may be incensed during the singing of the gospel canticle.
90. If the bishop puts incense into the censer at his chair (cathedra) or another chair, he remains seated; otherwise he puts in the incense while standing. The deacon presents the incense boat [72] and the bishop blesses the incense with the sign of the cross, saying nothing. [73] After the blessing, the deacon takes the censer from the acolyte and hands it to the bishop. [74]
91. Before and after an incensation, a profound bow is made to the person or object that is incensed, except in the case of the incensation of the altar and the gifts for the eucharistic sacrifice. [75]
92. The censer is swung back and forth three times for the incensation of: the blessed sacrament, a relic of the true cross and images of the Lord solemnly exposed, the gifts on the altar, the altar cross, the Book of the Gospels, the Easter candle, the bishop or presbyter who is celebrant, a representative of the civil authority in official attendance at a liturgical celebration, the choir and people, the body of a deceased person.
The censer is swung back and forth twice for the incensation of relics and images of the saints exposed for public veneration.
93. The altar is incensed with a series of single swings of the censer in this way:
if the altar is freestanding, the bishop incenses it as he walks around it;
if the altar is not freestanding, the bishop incenses it while walking first to the right side, then to the left.
If there is a cross on or beside the altar, he incenses it before he incenses the altar. If the cross is behind the altar, the bishop incenses it when he passes in front of it. [76] The gifts of bread and wine are incensed before the incensation of the altar and the cross.
94. The blessed sacrament is incensed from a kneeling position.
95. Relics and images exposed for public veneration are incensed after the incensation of the altar; at Mass they are incensed only at the beginning of the celebration.
96. Whether he is at the altar or at the chair (cathedra), the bishop receives the incensation standing and without the miter, unless he is already wearing it.
Concelebrants are incensed as a body by the deacon.
Lastly, the deacon incenses the people from the place most convenient. Canons who are not concelebrating or a community assembled in choir are incensed together with the people, unless the spatial arrangement suggests otherwise.
Bishops who may be present are also incensed along with the people.
97. A bishop who presides but does not concelebrate is incensed after the celebrant or concelebrants.
Where such a practice is customary, a head of state in official attendance at a liturgical celebration is incensed after the bishop.
98. The bishop should not begin any invitation, introduction, or prayer meant to be heard by all before the rite of incensation has been completed.
72. Two acolytes may go to the bishop with the censer and boat or one acolyte carrying both, the censer with burning charcoal in the left hand and the boat with the incense and spoon in the right (see Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. 1886, I, XIII, 1). 73. See GIRM, no. 236. From the acolyte the deacon takes the boat, half-opened and with the spoon resting in it, and offers the boat to the bishop. The bishop takes the spoon and with it three times scoops out incense, and three times puts incense into the censer. After doing so, and having returned the spoon to the minister, the bishop with his right hand makes the sign of the cross over the incense that has been deposited in the censer (see Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. 1886, I, XXII, 1-2).
74. The deacon returns the boat to the acolyte and from him takes the censer, which he presents to the bishop, placing the top of the censer chain in the bishop's left hand and the censer itself in the bishop's right hand (see Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. 1886, I, IX, 1).
75. The one incensing holds the top of the censer chain in the left hand, the bottom near the censer in the right hand, so that the censer can be swung back and forth easily. The one incensing should take care to carry out this function with grave and graceful mien, not moving head or body while swinging the censer, holding the left hand with the top of the chains near the chest and moving the right arm back and forth with a measured beat (see Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. 1886, I, XXIII, 4 and 8).

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