When can incense be used?

Hello. Can someone tell me all the possible times during the Novus Ordo when incense can be used and by who?

Thank you.

Do you mean the ordinary form? Anytime by a priest or deacon after a thurifer has presented the thurible to them.

Due to many reasons, it is generally reserved for Holy Days.

I mean, what are all the possible times during the Mass incense can be used in accordance to the Catholic liturgical rules.

The GIRM will give you the answers you’re looking for: usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/

At our abbey: during the procession the altar and processional crucifix are censed by the celebrant after the procession and while the second re-take of the introit is sung; at the gospel proclamation, the deacon or priest acting as deacon censes the book of gospels and the acolyte continues censing the ambo as the gospel is proclaimed; then at the offertory the altar and processional crucifix are censed by the celebrant; then the acolyte censes the celebrant, then the abbot (if he’s not the celebrant), then both halves of the monk’s choir, then the faithful in the nave.

This is correct. Read Chapter 4. It lists the many times incense can be used, and by whom. The word “Incense” is used 44 times in that chapter.



We also use incense during the elevations. During the Sanctus, the thurifer and one or two other servers (one with bells) process to the foot of the altar, facing the altar. During each elevation, the bells are rung and the thurifer incenses the Eucharist.

I have done this myself as an altar server - incensed “Three tripples” at the elevations.


Yes I forgot about that one, thanks.

Traditionally there never was such a thing as a 'triple," as lest in the EF. A swing was either ductus simplex (single) or it was* ductus duplex* (double). The question was how many singles or doubles would be used. The Blessed Sacrament was censed by three doubles at the elevations. I don’t believe that the OF specifies the number or swings, and I believe that is how the notion of “three triples” got started.

Incense can theoretically used during any Mass. Most churches reserve it for Solemnities (Sundays, Christmas, Days of Obligation, funeral,weddings , procession of the blessed sacrament , Benediction .). Most of the time, incense is used sparingly for cost-effectiveness, even though it goes bad after a few months if it’s not used. I personally like to see it used every Sunday.

In nomine Patris, + et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Introibo ad altare Dei. R: Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

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