From a reader:
Our pastor has stopped using the traditional censer at
Solemn Masses (of which he has very few –only the highest of feasts)
in favor of using a free-standing incense bowl that he places in front
of the altar of sacrifice. The celebrant adds incense to the bowl at
the beginning of Mass and again when he is returning to the altar
after accepting the Offertory Gifts, and the incense burns
continuously thereafter. To me, this seems like something in a pagan
ritual. Is this liturgically correct?
What’s next? A bong?
The shape of the censer, or thurible, is not prescribed.
On the other hand, over the centuries we have figured out the best ways to do things efficiently with out setting fire to any one… though in the matter of certain doctrinal errors and liturgical abuses I am open to discussing that one again… or dumping the coals on the floor.
Just remind the priest that when people see that and smile, they aren’t smiling with him, they are smiling at him.