Questions for Catholics

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CodeMonkey
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Questions for Catholics

Post by CodeMonkey » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:23 pm

I have a great respect for the Catholic church. My questions are to learn and not to start an argument. In this video towards the end the priest walks around the altar with a censer with incense. Then he hands it off to another priest and that priest swings the censer towards him. The priest with the censer then bows to the first priest. It's then handed off to a young couple which I take to be altar attendants. They swing it towards what I take to be other altar attendants. They bow towards the attendants. After they've done this to all of the attendants, they turn towards the congregation and swing the censer towards them. They bow towards the congregation and then the altar and leave. I think I understand the bowing towards the altar as being a sign of respect or honor towards God. Why do they bow towards each other? What does the walking around with the incense signify? Please don't disappointment by saying it's to make the church smell good. (Edit for spelling. Thanks Wosbald for helping me get it right)

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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by hugodrax » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:33 pm

Give me a chance to clean up and I'll give you the relevant parts of the Tridentine Mass with prayers being said by the priest that explain the matters.

I'm way to grubby to do it right now. :D
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by Stanley76 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:43 pm

I've never been to a Catholic Mass but Theresa was Catholic and her funeral service was so.......Holy feeling. I don't have the words to describe it. Through the grief, I felt awed by the ancient ceremony feeling that came over me. She was the center of my life and that service was was a fitting honor for her life. That's how I felt anyway.
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by wosbald » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm

+JMJ+
CodeMonkey wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:23 pm
… I think I understand the bowing towards the altar as being a sign of respect or honor towards God. Why do they bow towards each other? …
Though I don't study liturgics and, as such, have no particular expertise in the area, methinks that a significant way to approach this sort of problem is to ask oneself as to why the People would not be censed. What might one be trying to teach by not censing them?

After that, one can then ask oneself whether or not said doctrine is compatible with Catholic dogma. If not, then Catholic liturgical logic begins to be clarified and one is given a reason — even if not THE all-encompassing reason — for the practice in question.

Of course, the above is not to say that, everywhere censing is omitted, a doctrine is therefore being introduced through the backdoor, since a "failure to cense" and bearing a principled grudge against said censing are two different thangs.

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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by TNLawPiper » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 pm

In short, incense represents the prayers of the faithful rising to Heaven. That is the context of this ritual.

The priest receives the gifts from the faithful and places them on the Altar for consecration. Prior to asking God to bless and transform the gifts into the Eucharist, the priest incenses the Altar, the deacon incenses the priest, and the deacon or altar servers incense the congregation. In doing these things, the Church is offering not only the prayers of those present but the prayers of the faithful throughout space and time. This reflects the communion of saints and the idea that the whole of the Catholic Church offers our sacrifice to God during the Eucharist. The bows in between mirror our reverence for the recipient and the incensed.

There may be more, but I’m a convert, so I’m not necessarily tuned to the right frequency at all times. Also, if I have misspoken, I hope someone will correct me.

It is worth noting that incense is not present at every Mass. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states “as the occasion suggests,” in matters related to incensing. Therefore, while incense is almost certainly used at Solemn Masses (Christmas, Easter, etc.), most parishes don’t use it regularly. Some parishes tending toward the more liturgical end of the spectrum, may use it every Sunday, if not every day.

There’s a very conservative and liturgical parish in town (one of the few with the consecration made ad orientem) where the incense offered at a Solemn Mass will cloud the room and choke the sensitive. My wife hates it. I love every second of it.

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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by Jocose » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:37 pm

I was going to try and answer why The Eastern Orthodox Church uses incense but then I realized that you weren't asking why The Orthodox do such things.

Carry on, plus TNLp touched on it.

If you have never been to a liturgical service that uses incense, I'd highly recommend doing so. We use all 5 senses to Worship God, it's a very powerful and beautiful thing!
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by CodeMonkey » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:01 pm

Jocose wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:37 pm
I was going to try and answer why The Eastern Orthodox Church uses incense but then I realized that you weren't asking why The Orthodox do such things.

Carry on, plus TNLp touched on it.

If you have never been to a liturgical service that uses incense, I'd highly recommend doing so. We use all 5 senses to Worship God, it's a very powerful and beautiful thing!
Feel free to share the Eastern Orthodox view. I'm here to learn. I doubt that I will become a convert, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in others beliefs.
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by hugodrax » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:40 pm

Censing traditionally was only done during sung High Masses or during solemn Masses. These prayers were said by the priest in a very low voice while the actions are being performed: whether they still do this in the New Mass, I don't know.

As he blesses the incense, the priest prays: through the intercession of Blessed Michael the Archangel, standing at the right hand of the altar of incense, and of all his elect, may the Lord be pleased to bless this incense and to receive it as a pleasing fragrance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

As the offerring of bread and wine is incensed, the priest prays (in Latin): may this incense, blessed by You, arise in your sight, O Lord, and my Your mercy descend upon us.

The altar is incensed by the celebrant: Let my prayer come like incense before your sight: the lifting up of my hands, like an evening sacrifice. O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, and a guard at the door of my lips, so that my heart may not incline toward evil words, seeking excuses for my sins.

As the celebrant returns the thuribke to the deacon: May the Lord rekindle in us the fire of His love and the flame of everlasting charity. Amen.

The deacon now incensed both the celebrant and the clergy (i.e., the altar servers) and the congregation then stands to be incensed.

The bowing between all of the parties represents the passing of the Holy Spirit.

The priest then washes his hands while reciting Psalm 25.

Sorry this was so long.
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by CodeMonkey » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:05 pm

Thanks to all of you for your answers. I found the part about the passing of the Holy Spirit very interesting. I'm sure I'll have other questions in the future.
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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by TNLawPiper » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:46 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:40 pm
Censing traditionally was only done during sung High Masses or during solemn Masses. These prayers were said by the priest in a very low voice while the actions are being performed: whether they still do this in the New Mass, I don't know.

As he blesses the incense, the priest prays: through the intercession of Blessed Michael the Archangel, standing at the right hand of the altar of incense, and of all his elect, may the Lord be pleased to bless this incense and to receive it as a pleasing fragrance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

As the offerring of bread and wine is incensed, the priest prays (in Latin): may this incense, blessed by You, arise in your sight, O Lord, and my Your mercy descend upon us.

The altar is incensed by the celebrant: Let my prayer come like incense before your sight: the lifting up of my hands, like an evening sacrifice. O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, and a guard at the door of my lips, so that my heart may not incline toward evil words, seeking excuses for my sins.

As the celebrant returns the thuribke to the deacon: May the Lord rekindle in us the fire of His love and the flame of everlasting charity. Amen.

The deacon now incensed both the celebrant and the clergy (i.e., the altar servers) and the congregation then stands to be incensed.

The bowing between all of the parties represents the passing of the Holy Spirit.

The priest then washes his hands while reciting Psalm 25.

Sorry this was so long.
See, CodeMonkey? Way off.

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Re: Questions for Catholics

Post by DepartedLight » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:49 pm

:D
DL Jake

Feel free to use that quote in your signature. Stanley76 » 22 Feb 2019 21:50

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