why do they use incense in catholic churches

Incense has been employed in worship by Christians since antiquity, particularly in the
churches, the /Eastern Catholic, / Churches and some and Churches. Incense is being increasingly used among some other Christian groups as well, for example, the Book of Worship of calls for incense in the Evening Praise and Prayer service. The practice is rooted in the earlier traditions of in the time of the. The smoke of burning incense is interpreted by both the Western Catholic and Eastern Christian churches as a symbol of the prayer of the faithful rising to heaven. This symbolism is seen in (140), verse 2: "Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight: the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice. " Incense is often used as part of a purification ritual. In the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church, whenever the thurible is swung to incense people or objects, it is always done in groups of three [ swings (to represent the Three Persons of the, the Son, and God the ; the precise number depends on the level of sanctity of the object being reverenced, and if a person whether the person is alive or dead and whether they are a cleric or a layperson, and if a cleric, their rank within the hierarchy).


In the, incense symbolises the of the in - the "golden bowl full of incense" are "the of the " (, cf. ) which infuse upwards towards the altar of. A, a type of, is used to contain incense as it is burned. A server called a, sometimes assisted by a who carries the receptacle for the incense, approaches the person conducting the service with the thurible charged with burning bricks of red-hot charcoal. Incense, in the form of pebbly grains or powder, is taken from what is called a "boat", and usually blessed with a prayer and spooned onto the coals.


The thurible is then closed, and taken by the chain and swung by the priest, deacon or server or acolyte towards what or whom is being censed: the bread and wine offered for the, the consecrated Eucharist itself, the during its proclamation (reading), the, the (in Eastern churches), the clergy, the congregation, the Paschal candle or the body of a deceased person during a funeral. Incense may be used in Christian worship at the celebration of the, at solemn celebrations of the, in particular at, at, at, benediction and exposition of the Eucharist, the consecration of a church or altar and at other services. In the and / Churches, incense is used at virtually every service. Aside from being burnt, grains of blessed incense are placed in the and were formerly placed in the of consecrated, though this is no longer obligatory or even mentioned in the liturgical books.


Many formulations of incense are currently used, often with, or other aromatics. What do you think of when you hear the word pray? The LordБs Prayer? Praying before meals? Chances are, it has something to do with words or speaking. But prayer isnБt always about language. Picture, for example, the incense used at MassБmostly during the entrance procession, at the proclamation of the gospel, at the offertory, or at the elevation of the Eucharist after the consecration. The smoke wreathes around the offering and ascends into heaven. The scent of frankincense starts in the front of the church but eventually permeates to the back row. This is prayer of a different sort, prayer that helps us understand faith differently. Our prayers rise up to heaven, like the incense. And like the incense, what is holy permeates the world around us.

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