Incense at Mass

Are there certain Masses (Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, etc.) that require the use of incense?

I’m fairly allergic to the stuff, and have blacked out before in smaller Churches as a result of its use. I usually have to leave the building long before Mass is over to avoid it (which can be annoying when I want to stay for adoration), and I know I’m not the only one in that situation.

This is a question in two parts (well, 3 if you count the first question):

  1. How would one go about finding out when incense is going to be used?
  2. If I have to leave Mass well before Communion due to incense, and there isn’t another Mass without incense, what should I do to fulfill the Sunday Obligation? Stick it out and risk a dramatic faceplant? :smiley:

No.

  1. How would one go about finding out when incense is going to be used?

You could call and ask. My wife is a celiac, and cannot consume ordinary Hosts. She can call the Parish to find out if the Precious Blood is available to the laity. Obtaining this information has never been a problem. However, we once “suddenly” (without opportunity to check in advance) visited one Parish, and I asked the deacon about such availability shortly before Mass started. He told me that the Cup was not normally offered to the laity, but they would make an exception for her. It turned out this was a BISHOP’S Mass. We’re like, “omygosh, we have a Bishop” (actually, an Archbishop). But it was no problem.

  1. If I have to leave Mass well before Communion due to incense, and there isn’t another Mass without incense, what should I do to fulfill the Sunday Obligation? Stick it out and risk a dramatic faceplant? :smiley:

There is no Sunday Obligation if medical issues prevent your participation. If there are no alternatives reasonably available to you, you should contact your Bishop for assistance. My (arch)Bishop had no problem accommodating my wife. I think your Bishop could provide similar assistance.

I love it but I don’t get to be around it as it is only used at one Mass.

My son has too many allergies to list - incense among them. You might try a mask and sit toward the rear of the Church. Take a Benedryl or other (non-drowsy) allergy medication 45 minutes before mass. Ask doctor next time, as there are other things that might also help. I am certain that there is a way that you can work around this.

I love it too. We don’t usually use it at my church, but it was used last night. One of the joys of living in Italy is that all the old churches have a heavy aroma of incense.

Before I started attending a Catholic Church, I went to an Anglo-Catholic one for a few months. They used incense throughout the service - it was the best part of the whole experience!

I find usually sung Masses and full ceremonial Masses will use incense. It’s almost always used during Adoration/Benediction. I would perhaps look for the crying room if I were you and spend Mass and Adoration/Benediction in there. I fell bad for you as I really love insense though I’m unable to smell much of anything.

I think Maundy Thursday is the only one that requires incense (and maybe Easter Sunday) because my church never uses incense and the only time I’ve seen it being used is at the Alter of Repose on Maundy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

  1. you had best of to just contact your priest and ask him (email, phone, etc.)
  2. leaving Mass early without a serious reason is a sin, however, allergy is a serious reason so you should be fine to walk out into the back of the church for the bit with incense

My only suggestions would be to call ahead of time and ask, then plan to sit as far in the back as you can if they are using incense. The incense will be most apparent closer to the altar. And as someone else suggested, speak with your doctor the next time you go. Such a strong reaction may require medical intervention plus there may be something you can take when you know you’ll be exposed.

I’ll deliberately get it used when you visit and incense ya :wink:

Only Joking :stuck_out_tongue:

:smiley:

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