I saw this about the use of incense at Mass and didn't realize that incense was what made me so happy. I always thought it was the Lord's Real Presence.
But this begs the question and the investigation! Have altar servers, pray God not priests, but today who knows, ever placed pot into the boat of incense and did that particular Mass see an increase in attendance???????
Familiar to most Christians as one of the gifts the Three Kings presented to the Christ Child, the burning of frankincense has been part of cultural and religious ceremonies for millennia. Frankincense is a resin from the Boswellia tree which is made into oils, incense, and used in everything from worship to medicinal uses. Its name originates from the old French “franc encens,” meaning “quality incense.”
Johns Hopkins University teamed up with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to explore frankincense to see what kinds of effects it has on the mind. To measure the effects on the mind, researchers used some of the resin from the Boswellia tree known as incensole acetate and gave it to some mice. This test showed them that incensole acetate affects the area of the brain where emotions reside.
“In spite of information stemming from ancient tests, constituents of Boswellia had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam from the study.
“We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice, lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present-day worshippers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”
They concluded that when someone comes in contact with frankincense it has a strong anxiolytic (“anxiety decreasing”) effect and acts as an antidepressant, leaving a person feeling relaxed and open which can be very soothing.
"If, after you have used the incense, you can still see the altar, you have not used enough." - Fr. John Quinn, former teacher of liturgy, Mt. St. Mary's Seminary.
A regular staple during Communion service and Evensong [hyperbole] at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City!
The opiate of the masses? I'm sure our enemies will have a field day with the results of this study. Brace yourselves, my friends.
AT my parish incense is prohibited for "PASTORAL" reasons. Go figure.
I bet the truth is also prohibited at your parish for "PASTORAL" reasons.
TJM: Good one!
"Scent-evoked memories tend to be pure and emotional. This is connected to how the memories are stored. Most of the action takes place in an ancient part of the brain – the limbic system. Odour receptors in the nose, like tiny antennae, send messages to the brain’s olfactory bulb, located above the roof of the nasal cavity, for processing. The olfactory bulb sends its information directly to the amygdala – the memory bank for emotional experience. There is no extra processing en route, as there is for our other senses, so smell memories link to emotional memories in a raw state. From there, the interwoven memories of smells and emotions are sent to the hippocampus for long-term filing. This fits with Chabon’s anecdote. He found the scent of his old comics pulled a woven thread of memory, which included an early emotional experience." - Cosmos, 13 July 2015.
"For example, the psychoactivity of Boswellia resin (including frankincense and olibanum) has been recognized for centuries, as it has been known to bring about experiences of spiritual exaltation in cultural and religious ceremonies. Research on the plant has shown that incensole acetate (IA), a constituent of Boswellia resin, brings about a anti-depressive-like behavior by activating TRPV3 ion channels in the brain." "Incense" Psychology Today, 12 December 2012
If I encounter the fragrance of Jergens Lotion I am immediately connected with memories of our mother who used that product all the time. It's a most pleasant experience!
And I always use pure Ethiopian frankincense. Beware of the formulas that include wood chips, even cedar. They may produce lots of smoke, but a "burned" smell comes along pretty quickly.
Now it will be said that this is why young people are attracted to the
As far as Ethiopian frankincense, make sure it is not sourced from a Rastafarian.
(Yes, there are some residing in that country.) It will give the celebration of
the mass a whole different meaning.
If you can see the iconostasis, one did not use enough incense :p, if you can see the priest, one did not use enough incense.
Thanks, I call them as I sees them!!!!
Go to the front of the class.
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