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The original Roman practice was to burn incense in a brazier, which was carried in procession at the beginning and end of the celebration as well as at the gospel. This incensation has been simplified. Bread and wine, altar, cross, priest and people are incensed in silence. No detailed directions are given for the precise manner of incensation.


Priest and people are also incensed since they are to unite themselves and their prayers with the gifts which will be offered in the Eucharistic Prayer. The incense is burned in a special container called the thurble with a long chain so it can be swung. This is carried by a thurifer. He bows as a sign of respect to the priests and the people and we bow back as a sign of that same respect.

Questions for Reflection:

1. What prayers do I offer to God during the time of incensing?

2. What sign of veneration do I make while passing in front of the altar?

Scripture: Ps. 141:2, Revelation 8: 2-4