Monday, November 17, 2008

44 Things I Love About Being Catholic...#7 Incense

Again the numbers have no significance as far as what i love the most...

I love the burning of Incense to symbolize our prayers going up to heaven.....though when pregnant, it kind of made me sick to be honest. I love all the pomp and ritual the priest goes about swinging the censer around. A priest a my church once commented that his seminary prided themselves on how they could cloud up the congregation with incense. I say the more dramatic the swing, the better.

On Mondays I pray in my church's adoration chapel for an hour each morning, and the past 2 weeks I noticed the unmistakable scent of the incense. No nothing divine or miraculous there were funerals in the church and incense is used as a part of the funeral rite. When I had that whiff last week, I was still pretty deep in my grief for Fr Kenny and that aroma reminded me to pray for the repose of his soul and for his family, friends and the staff at the be eased in their (and my) grief. Then I was reminded of the image of my prayers, sweet requests rising to the aromatic smoke from the incense rising from the censer. The Holy Spirit in me, burning in my heart as the incense was....

Yes, I know in my youth I would do the dramatic holding of the nose with the PU face to my mom as it can be quite strong, but I suppose I have grown to appreciate this beautiful gesture. Actually Roman Catholics aren't the only ones who use incense, but I like it when we do.

I learned tonight in the Book of Revelation incense symbolises the prayers of the saints in heaven - the "golden bowl full of incense" are "the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8 cf. Revelation 8:3) which infuse upwards towards the altar of God.

To the saints.......All you Holy Men and Women Pray for Us!

1 comment:

Lyn said...

You know, I heard that Fr. Kenny was allergic to incense!