Is it okay to bring incense to adoration?

I tend to go late at night to Adoration and there’d be maybe 1 or 2 other people, but I was wondering if it’s ok to bring an incense censor to help me pray whilst I adore. Is this allowed, or would it be prohibited for some reason do you think?

Personally, I would think of it as though you brought a little stereo to play some Gregorian chant during adoration. Is Gregorian chant a nice thing? Yes. Is is inappropriate and presumptuous to force it on others without asking just because you like it? Yes. Sorry to put it that way, but you’re asking the wrong question – or at least only one of the relevant questions. Whether it is “prohibited” is of course important, and for that you should ask your pastor. There’s a decent chance he doesn’t want people lighting things on fire in his church in the first place, but he’s the one who would be authorized to permit this. But you also need to ask whether it is appropriate and considerate of others. Some people are allergic to incense or have breathing problems, especially in closed spaces; other people just plain don’t like incense that much. If you bring incense because that’s what you like, can someone else bring a speaker set to play some Christian rock?

At our OF parish, before Adoration we have Mass. So incense is used when the Monstrance is brought out and the O salutaris Hostia is sung.

I would think that bringing your own Incense would be improper but I can’t give any documentation for my belief. Would bet that Benedictgal could though.

I asked an honest question in a respectful way, thank you for your not so charitable and snide remark.

Actually MT the youth group sometimes goes in and a couple of their band members play guitar and drums and sing contemporary christian rock music, driving out pretty much everyone in the chapel when they do.
Considering that what do you think?

I’m learning more about traditions and want to employ incense in my prayer life. It is definitely a part of tradition, and is meant to be reverent by me only to help with prayer. You bring up some good points MT, but the way you phrased it could have been more charitable.

My opinion is the same. (1) Hopefully they have obtained the permission of the pastor, and (2) it’s inconsiderate for them to force that on everyone at adoration.

I’m learning more about traditions and want to employ incense in my prayer life. It is definitely a part of tradition, and is meant to be reverent by me only to help with prayer. You bring up some good points MT, but the way you phrased it could have been more charitable.

Sorry if you found my tone uncharitable, it wasn’t meant to be. I wanted to bring to your attention a concern you hadn’t indicated having considered, and to do it in a way that might give you a sense of why others could find it presumptuous if you made the unilateral decision to start bringing incense.

Ultimately, the answer to your question is: ask your pastor. (Just like the answer to, oh, about 80% of the other questions that people ask here on CAF ;)). You’re right to be concerned about tradition, but one thing I think you can rest pretty easy about is that there’s no tradition in the Church of people deciding on their own to bring and light their own incense. :slight_smile:

I do it all the time!! See, that’s me right there!

Joking aside, I probably wouldn’t do it “from the pews”.

It would be kinda cool but please don’t. The incense could be a source of distraction as well as the cause of respiratory distress to other people there in prayer.


Ask your priest. I know that the laity can incense the congregation and the Priest, but it is the Priest who incenses the Altar. And, the incense is a part of the ritual and not a prayer or meditation aid.

No one appreciates a well-charged thurible more than I (I would humbly submit), but it does sound a bit like bringing your own food to a restaurant:nope::tsktsk:

First thing I want to say is, I am excited to hear that there is someplace in Orange County (my home town) that has perpetual Adoration. And I am thrilled to know that you go to worship Our Lord in Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament. Good for you!

I don’t know if your Adoration is being held in a large church or a small chapel (like ours). In our small chapel, I wouldn’t want to have someone bringing incense, simply because it is already stuffy enough. There are some people, including myself, who couldn’t take that much incense smoke in a small space, due to respiratory problems.

However, I think it is a wonderful idea to be able to use incense to honor God, as well as help you focus on your prayers. Could this be something you could be doing at home while you pray? I light votive candles with pictures of the BVM, Our Lord, and the saints when I am praying at home. I think it would be lovely to pray in front of my home Crucifx with a candle and incense.

Another thought…

Maybe you could honor The Blessed Sacrament by bringing a lump or two of unlit incense to the chapel, and leaving them before the altar as an offering to Our Lord.

I’m sure Our Lord would love the gift just as well, even it it weren’t lit. It is the thought that counts.

(If I am off-base, folks, feel free to tell me. My faith is the faith of a peasant without any special training.)

Whoever is in charge of the adoration chapel might have a problem with people burning something in the chapel- especially late at night. Also, it might disturb others who might decide to go to adoration. If the people in charge of the adoration chapel know you well, they might allow it- as long as it does not disturb anybody else there, doesn’t make a mess, and the chapel is big enough to handle incense (I’ve been in tiny chapels where they tried to use incense without thinking about all the smoke there would be in such a small space- it wasn’t a pleasant experience for anyone).

i dont agree with mark much but indeed he was quite charitable, you asked, he gave you the charity of responding to your question, i like incense as much as the next trad but i do agree with mark that it would be rude to bring incense when other people are there. dont fall in to this trap of calling everything that is not what you want to hear ‘uncharitable’ charity does not mean being nice good sir, it means giving and loving, he showed you love by giving you the knowledge that you requested. Jesus was not being very nice when he ransacked the money changing tables in the temple, he was being loving and giving by letting them know it was wrong to do that stuff i the house of God

I am extremely sensitive to incense. In fact, so sensitive that it can cause severe medical issues. If incense are being used in our church, I know when and where and plan accordingly. If you were to bring incense into adoration, I would have to leave.

While I am sure you and I probably don’t attend the same church, there very well may be people like me at your church.

you bring what you need for your personal prayer, bible, spiritual book, rosary, not what will affect others there–incense, CD player etc. Even better is learning, specifically during adoration, to spend some or all of the time without any external aid to prayer and allow the Lord to direct your prayer. That takes time to learn, but in the meantime don’t bring anything that impedes another’s time. If there is to be a benediction service the priest will supply the incense.

They need to find a garage to play in! I would demand the pastor put a stop to this idiocy.

Ask your priest to have a scheduled Benediction. Benedition is the usual way to “kick off” if you will, a period of Adoration. The Benediction rubrics include incense. I think it might be the only liturgical service rubrics in which the incense is not optional.

I don’t think it would a good idea to bring your own, but to get Father to have Benediction would be a solution. As a fellow incense lover, the lack of it at Mass was partially what got me to go to the Tridentine Mass.

The priest will bring his own. Incense is used only at the beginning of Adoration, by the priest; not in the middle of it, and not by lay people.

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