OCF 36-37: Holy Water and Incense

Water reminds the community of the first sacrament:

36. Blessed or holy water reminds the assembly of the saving waters of baptism. In the rite of reception of the body at the church, its use calls to mind the deceased’s baptism and initiation into the community of faith. In the rite of final commendation the gesture of sprinkling water may also signify farewell.

Yes, but incense is also significant at farewell, and more frequently associated with funerals, present and past.

37. Incense is used during the funeral rites as a sign of honor to the body of the deceased, which through baptism became the temple of the Holy Spirit. Incense is also used as a sign of the community’s prayers for the deceased rising to the throne of God and as a sign of farewell.

So we see that incense has more associations than water at the point of the rite of farewell. Does any0one have experience with a funeral without incense? In my recollection, I have none.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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