Incense During the Triduum

At what points in each Mass during the Triduum (Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday service, Easter Vigil, Solemn Mass of Easter Sunday) is incense used? Please help, I have to make formations for the altar servers for each of these Masses.

For the Ordinary Form?



276. Thurification or incensation is an expression of reverence and of prayer, as is signified in Sacred Scripture (cf. Ps 141 [140]:2; Rev 8:3).

Incense may be used optionally in any form of Mass:

a) during the Entrance Procession;
b) at the beginning of Mass, to incense the cross and the altar;
c) at the procession before the Gospel and the proclamation of the Gospel itself;
d) after the bread and the chalice have been placed on the altar, to incense the offerings, the cross, and the altar, as well as the Priest and the people;
e) at the elevation of the host and the chalice after the Consecration.

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I don’t believe incense is appropriate or liturgically correct at any point in the Good Friday liturgy, which is restrained, mournful, and not a Mass.

Read the GIRM, speak to your pastor or the Diocesan Liturgist.

True in the current missal, but traditionally, pre-1955, incense was used in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament into the church before communion.

On Palm Sunday:

  • NOT used for the reading of the Gospel. Nor are torches used at that point during the Mass.

On Holy Thursday, Like a normal mass with incense except that there is the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel of Repose so incense is used there.

On Good Friday, it is NOT used at ALL.

Easter Vigil:

  • The Procession into the church
  • The Exsultet
  • NOT during the Gospel (I may be wrong on this)
  • At the usual places after the above bullet.

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