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.