Saturday, 2 January 2010


Incense seems to be less and less of a problem to Anglicans if it is taught openly as scriptural as well as traditional. The RC's especially in France seem to use it very little these days. We had quite a few debates in PCC some years ago. We have maintained it's use at high festivals for 25 years but use it more often now, especially with the introduction of static burners (as opposed to the swinging thurible which we also use) but on the whole when the biblical references, especially in the psalms are taught, the embracing of it has become quite natural. More holidays to Greece and burning of incense sticks and scented candles generally has probably taken away some of the stigma. The supreme place for static burners of incense par excellence has to go I think to St. Martin's Roath, Cardiff to which I award a five (gold) star accolade!  I remember a magnificent occasion when the two huge basins of the Holy Smoke at the sanctuary steps were burning so vigorously that not only was visibility down to a mystical 5 yards or so but our robes were all covered in smuts, magnificent! Pile it on! Sadly I don't have a photo of that occasion but this is a photo(courtesy of their Sacristan) of the Chrism Mass there with thurible at the entrance procession. This was in the days when we had a Provincial Bishop. The pastoral care of the Diocesans in Wales is now so overwhelming they have arbitrarily banned a successor to Bishop David Thomas, the first and so far last one. Now is the best time to introduce incense if you haven't before when the Gospel affirms it so clearly "Then opening their treasure chests they offered Him gold frank-incense and myrrh". The other photo is of a static burner in the votive candle stand at our parish. So go on spoil yourselves and get the matches out this Sunday and come home to a real fire! Bonne fete!!

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