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Incense, if used

232. After placing the chalice on the altar the celebrant bows and prays inaudibly With humble and contrite hearts. Then, if incense is used, a minister presents the thurible (IG 144 - 145).

233. For the Basic Mass, the priest puts incense in the thurible and incenses the gifts, the cross, and altar (IG 144). Then "A minister, standing at the side of the altar, incenses the priest and then the people". When incensing the priest and people there are three swings of the thurible (IG 277). This is done by an acolyte, if present (IG 190).

234. For Mass with a deacon, "the deacon assists the priest with the incensation of the gifts, the cross and the altar; afterward he, or the acolyte, incenses the priest and the people" (IG 178).

235. For a concelebrated Mass, the concelebrants would only do the incensing in the absence of a deacon and other ministers (IG 208). Surprisingly, IG makes no mention of incensing the concelebrants as a body. According to IG 276 "the priest and the people" "sacerdotem et populum" are incensed.

236. No mention is made of people standing to be incensed in IG. On the contrary, IG 43 and IG 146 say they should sit during the preparation of the gifts and stand for the prayer after it.

237. For Mass with a bishop, different and more detailed instructions are given.

238. To give the thurible to the bishop, either one or two acolytes go to the bishop with the thurible and boat. If one goes, he carries the thurible in the left hand with the boat in the right. The deacon takes the boat and presents it to the bishop who adds the incense to the thurible. After the blessing, the deacon returns the boat to the acolyte and takes the thurible from him. He hands the thurible to the bishop placing the top of the thurible chain in the bishop's left hand and the thurible end of the chain in the bishop's right hand. (CB 90).

239. When incensing with the thurible, the top of the chain is held in the left hand near the chest, and the chain near the thurible is held in the right hand, so the thurible can be swung back and forth easily with a measured beat. (CB 91, footnote 75).

240. According to CB 96, the bishop is incensed standing. The concelebrants are incensed as a body by the deacon, but no mention is made of them standing. Then the deacon incenses "the people from the place most convenient" rather than at the side of the altar. (Again there is no mention of them standing).

241. For the Stational Mass, "The bishop receives the censer from the deacon and, in the same way as at the beginning of Mass and accompanied by a deacon, incenses the gifts, as well as the altar and the cross. After this, all rise, and a deacon, standing at the side of the altar, incenses the bishop, who stands without the miter, then the concelebrants, then the people." (CB 149). It seems that a unique feature of the Stational Mass is that all stand when the thurible is passed from the bishop to the deacon.



Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 15 April 2002.