Vessels for Incense


I was wondering if anybody knew of any regulations as to what vessels can be used to hold incense at mass? Must a thurible always be used? My parish priest often places a bowl on a stand in front of the altar with some coals in it and will add incense at the prescribed times of the mass, but obviously omits any actual incensations, it just sits there. Have you ever heard of similar practices?

Pax Christi


No, that’s licit. If there is no altar server, the priest can do something like what you described. That form of thurible is the oldest kind- over time, chains and a cover were added. The Ambrosian Rite only has chains, no cover.

This is a picture from the dedication of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Tennessee, in which one can see both.



Ah! Thanks for the reply! The strange thing about it is that there is always at least four servers.

I find the thurible without lid fascinating. At my Oratory, they use the chains to lift the lid off as high as possible and swing it like that. I’d probably spill everything!


Do any of them have the usual chained thurible?

And yeah, oratories are something else


Oh yes. We have one thurible which is used often, but Father seems to favour the ‘bowl method’.



Even if it is an abuse (I don’t think it is) it’s very minor


I agree. We have bigger fish to fry.


paper and wood vessels cannot . . . .

:rofl: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :roll_eyes:



Na my man, I’m all about that cardboard! :joy:


If I am not mistaken, the regulation is that a thurible should be no larger than a Weber grill

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