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  #1  
Old Apr 4, '06, 11:58 am
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TraderTif TraderTif is offline
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Default Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

I'm curious about how those with incense allergies cope?

I've always been allergic. My first parish used a non-hypoallergenic incense, and whenever the incense came out, I lost my voice completely. Every time. (My parents were all freaked out the first time it happened). And once, when the incense holder (what is that called?) got too close, my throat started to close up and I was frantically struggling to breathe for several minutes.

All the churches now seem to use hypoallergenic incense, so I've not had to struggle for breath anymore. But I still get a severe headache, sore throat, and other allergy symptoms (even when I'm doped up with Benadryl)

When I finally got my confirmation, my priest had to get a special dispensation from the bishop, to confirm me on a regular Sunday, instead of the Easter Vigil (because of the incense)

How many of you out there are allergic to incense? How do you cope with it?

I mainly try to avoid it at ALL costs. I have a LONG history of numerous alleriges, which continue to get worse the more I am exposed (I have a lot of chronic health problems anyway)

Tif =8-)
  #2  
Old Apr 4, '06, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Well, I don't have as severe a problem as you. As long as it is the hypoallergenic variety I am usually OK as long as I am not right near the censer.

But I'm a member of the choir so it is problematic if my throat closes up or I start coughing when I am supposed to be singing. In my choir we are allowed -in fact encouraged- to have a bottle of water for just such circumstances.

But carrying around a bottle of water when in the congregation is not so easy. I think that if I were you I'd try to have a small bottle with a sipping straw for emergencies. I would think most people would prefer to see you sipping water than to have you coughing or turning blue.
  #3  
Old Apr 4, '06, 1:58 pm
jbuck919 jbuck919 is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

I don't wish to seem insensitive to your plight, but we heare here all the time from people who are "allergic" to one thing or another that is a typical and desirable part of the service. Sometimes (a wheat communion wafer) it is a necessary part. I'm surprised we have not heard from a bunch of agoraphobes who cannot get to Mass at all for fear of a panic attack (perhaps we have--I'm a relatively new member).

Speak to a priest, unless, of course, you have presbyterophobia, which is another possibility. God does not deny his grace because of the accidents of relatively rare indivdual circumstances. Homosexuals are ten percent of the population, and they are not by the rules allowed ever to have any fulfillment in physical love in a context of grace, without being given additional gifts to endure that. Divorced and remarried people are a huge proportion of attendants at Sunday Mass who are not allowed to communicate. They include women who were battered, cheated upon, and then deserted. Let everyone who comes here complaining about how worship is personally uncomfortable because of a twitch here or a tickle there think about that the next time before they complain about a thing like being allergic to incense, which can be avoided by attending services where it is not used.
  #4  
Old Apr 4, '06, 2:12 pm
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Scott Waddell Scott Waddell is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuck919

Homosexuals are ten percent of the population

Actually 1 to two percent. The 10 percent figure is from the discredited Kinsey report. CA actually has a link on this. http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp


Scott
  #5  
Old Apr 4, '06, 2:16 pm
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

In my experience, if you sit in the back, you do not even really smell it (and it is a smell I LOVE) and ours is not a large building...

Should you need to, you could also slip out to the vestibule, cry room or rest room during the incensing. My last bit of advice, carry a handkerchief and cover your mouth/nose during the incensing.
  #6  
Old Apr 4, '06, 2:21 pm
jbuck919 jbuck919 is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Waddell
Actually 1 to two percent. The 10 percent figure is from the discredited Kinsey report. CA actually has a link on this. http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp


Scott
Nobody knows the exact percent and I agree it it probably less than ten but no one really has anything but anecdotal evidence and that will depend on one's life experience. A figure as low as one percent is from a more recent study based falsely on people who have had nothing exclusively but homosexual relationships. I am sorry if this offends anybody hear, but the vast majority of people who can only achieve this kind of fulfillment with members of their own sex have relations with members of the opposite sex because of self doubts, overwhelming social pressure, and the myth of bisexuality.

Sorry. I know this is not the topic of the thread and did not intend to hijack it, but this was the obvious counterexample when someone comes here and friankly whines about still being allergic to hypo-allergenic incense. There are facial filters that will filter this out if it is that big a problem. You look conspicuous if you wear one. Tough.
  #7  
Old Apr 4, '06, 2:30 pm
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TraderTif TraderTif is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

I don't think of myself as "whiny", and I'm sorry if I came across that way. I'm not complaining about it! I just wondered if anyone had ideas for coping. Different antihistamines that I haven't tried, perhaps there is a "super-hypoallergenic" variety of incense out there. How would I know if I never asked?



Tif =8-)
  #8  
Old Apr 4, '06, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

I fail to see why percentages are important here other so long as the percentage is greater than zero. The OP pointed out a problem and asked how others who share the problem coped. The OP never suggested incense shouldn't be used. (If the OP was trolling, then you fell for it.)

Yes, we all have problems that we must deal with. And it can seem like whining. But why is a problem with incense less legitimate than any other issue? It is an actual problem.

There is certainly no shortage of whining here. Some Posters whine about the lack of latin. Others whine about those who want latin.
  #9  
Old Apr 4, '06, 3:15 pm
cameron_lansing cameron_lansing is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TraderTif
I'm curious about how those with incense allergies cope?

I've always been allergic. My first parish used a non-hypoallergenic incense, and whenever the incense came out, I lost my voice completely.

Tif =8-)
You really have my sympathies but I can't suggest how to cope.

I've had reactions to the hypoallergenic incense too and almost passed out once while assisting the bishop in front of a couple thousand people. This is not a pleasant sensation. Antihistamines are problemmatic for me as they all tend to induce drowsiness and the feeling of slow motion.

I carry an extra kleenix, and hold my breath a lot. But your problem obviously sounds much graver than mine.

Even so, conducting benediction and proclaiming the gospel with an acolyte swinging the censer behind me has a penitential element. This is probably true for a number of bishops, priests and deacons. I've known bishops who were allergic. But we're all going to smoke it up good anyway.

We try to arrange for open windows at the back of the church for those who are affected by the incense and look at them with understanding.
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  #10  
Old Apr 4, '06, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

One thing that will help is if the sacristans throughly clean the censor after every mass where it is used and insert a piece of foil that can be thrown out after each mass where it is used. Also, the cheaper versions of incense cause people to have the worst reactions so if a parish is willing to spend the money on the more expensive "real" as opposed to mostly plastic incense then you will breath easier.
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  #11  
Old Apr 4, '06, 3:57 pm
Linnyo Linnyo is offline
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Angry Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuck919
I don't wish to seem insensitive to your plight, but we heare here all the time from people who are "allergic" to one thing or another that is a typical and desirable part of the service. Sometimes (a wheat communion wafer) it is a necessary part. I'm surprised we have not heard from a bunch of agoraphobes who cannot get to Mass at all for fear of a panic attack (perhaps we have--I'm a relatively new member).

Speak to a priest, unless, of course, you have presbyterophobia, which is another possibility. God does not deny his grace because of the accidents of relatively rare indivdual circumstances. Homosexuals are ten percent of the population, and they are not by the rules allowed ever to have any fulfillment in physical love in a context of grace, without being given additional gifts to endure that. Divorced and remarried people are a huge proportion of attendants at Sunday Mass who are not allowed to communicate. They include women who were battered, cheated upon, and then deserted. Let everyone who comes here complaining about how worship is personally uncomfortable because of a twitch here or a tickle there think about that the next time before they complain about a thing like being allergic to incense, which can be avoided by attending services where it is not used.
Pity help you if you ever have a med. condition that prevents you from participating in the Mass. FYI there are people here with social phobias that cause huge problems and it is no laughing matter at all. When you are stuck in the house crouched in a corner with your hands over your ears crying cos you can't cope with sounds such as lawnmowers, birds singing or traffic passing, agoraphobia is more than a little discomfort! You have no idea what other peoples suffering is like till you've been ther.
  #12  
Old Apr 4, '06, 4:29 pm
jbuck919 jbuck919 is offline
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Post Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnyo
Pity help you if you ever have a med. condition that prevents you from participating in the Mass. FYI there are people here with social phobias that cause huge problems and it is no laughing matter at all. When you are stuck in the house crouched in a corner with your hands over your ears crying cos you can't cope with sounds such as lawnmowers, birds singing or traffic passing, agoraphobia is more than a little discomfort! You have no idea what other peoples suffering is like till you've been ther.
I've been there for more than one reason, and I will not disclose them. It is extremely difficult for a human institution, no matter how divinely appointed, to anticipate and fairly deal with every single possibility, and frankly that is sometimes what we have to tell people. "Father, I am celeriac and also a recovering alcoholic, how should I receive commmunion?" That's only the beginning of a large list of "exceptions" that in a world of seven billion people and one billion Catholics (of record, at least) is going statistically to have to deal with these exceptions on a fairly regular basis. I certainly don't claim that I have any insight into how to address this, but it can hardly be doubted that it must be addressed.
  #13  
Old Apr 4, '06, 4:47 pm
QUICUMQUE VULT QUICUMQUE VULT is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

I think the United States, (God Bless Her) Is the only country in the world where people are allergic to food! Third World countries dont seem to have that problem

as for the Incense, It makes me angry when I hear people coughing and hacking during solemn High Mass and or Solemn Benediction. Usually some of these people will sit on A bar stool in A juke joint all night and breathe just fine. Or light one up after Mass.
  #14  
Old Apr 4, '06, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Quote:
I think the United States, (God Bless Her) Is the only country in the world where people are allergic to food! Third World countries dont seem to have that problem
True. The allergic ones probably all died off as infants or young children.

Quote:
as for the Incense, It makes me angry when I hear people coughing and hacking during solemn High Mass and or Solemn Benediction. Usually some of these people will sit on A bar stool in A juke joint all night and breathe just fine. Or light one up after Mass.
Not where I live. Smoking isn't (legally) allowed in bars.
  #15  
Old Apr 4, '06, 5:22 pm
gelsbern gelsbern is offline
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Default Re: Incense Allergy (how do you cope?)

Well this might sound a bit cliche' but offer it up to the Lord, his scourging, crown of thorns and being nailed to the cross for your headache and stuffy nose.

You have gotten a lot of good advice, especially the sit in the back and bring a handkerchief to cover your nose with. I also suffer from allergies to incense, and we don't tend to use the hypoallergenic stuff, so I know what you are going through. When it affects me, and it usually does, because I am right up there doing some of the censing, I just thank God that that is all the suffering I am given.



As with everyone else in the CA forums, you are in my prayers.
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