From a reader:
Would it be an abuse to use an eastern thurible in the Roman Rite even if the bells are removed? Sometimes it seems more efficient to use especially in Eucharistic processions.
I don’t know that it would be an abuse… except perhaps a gentle abuse of our Roman identity.
Easterners have their ways and we have ours.
For those who don’t know, the Eastern thurible has a shorter chain for one handed-use, is often replete with bells. There is also an abbreviated censor with a handle. The Roman thurible, with its longer chain, is used with two-hands and in a slower, more deliberate manner.
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are leaping about to squeal, “I like Byzantine things! It’s so spiritual! And, besides, Vatican II did away with the Roman Rite. But you don’t care, ’cause you hate Vatican II!”
It seems to me that there has been a trend toward this.
It makes sense, when you come to think of it, given how we Romans trashed our own perfectly acceptable liturgical heritage and abandoned nearly any trace of the transcendent in our liturgical worship far and wide for decades. People hunger for that! In the vacuum we created, Eastern things started to creep in. It’s understandable.
I have nothing against Eastern liturgical practices! I think it is great when Eastern Catholics use them. I deeply appreciate the Divine Liturgy. We Romans, however, should reclaim and revel in our Romanitas, which is second to none when properly implemented and fostered. The Roman Rite is not less “spiritual” or “transcendent”, so long as it is allowed truly to be the Roman Rite.
So, Eastern-style thurible… okay. But I think Roman hands should use the Roman ways.
That said, rather an Eastern censor than one of those things that looks like Sputnik or something that crawled out of a drain pipe. Or, worse, those pagan bowls with which the usually over-weight and often chiffon-clad dance around. BRRRRR!
And, if I may add, not everything has to be “efficient”. Processions are, by their very nature, extravagant.
And since we are on the topic of censers, here is another option:
And something more cthonic is here – especially the groovy music:
UPDATE 29 March:
Someone wrote to remind me of my post
The use of an censer by an Eastern cleric in the Roman Rite is featured! Don’t miss that one. A classic.