• Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 203
    How do we help those in the Mass who find that incense causes them to have breathing problems, triggers migraines, nauseousness? I like incense at Mass, but it seems for some to be a problem. Does the church provide any guidance in this area?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Use Eastern incense, available from Orthodox supply houses. It is much better stuff that doesn't contain wood shavings. There is no black smoke. We have converted our priests to the Eastern kind and the complaints stopped.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 203
    Ah..OK thanks. I will mention this to our pastor and see what can be done. I'm not sure what we are using but it's not as strong as the stuff I remember using as an altar boy.
  • fp
    Posts: 63
    ...and good quality charcoal!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,403
    Sometimes these things can be Pavlovian. There is one lady in the parish that tends to cough as soon as the thurible comes out, and always complains: One day the altar-boys brought out an uncharged thurible - no smoke, just chains and clank - and she began hacking profusely. Afterwards she was told that the thurible was empty - she hasn't coughed since.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Kind of makes me think Pavlov's dogs are sitting in the front pews.
  • Mark K
    Posts: 25
    We have found pure white copal works well. It seems to be less irritating, smokes well, and has a pleasing scent. So far it has satisfied the few people who complain when we use Three Kings Pontifical or pure frankincense. Also we found cleaning the thurible more frequently helps too.

    We have always used self-lighting Three Kings brand charcoals. Does anyone have any other charcoal recommendations?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Sometimes these things can be Pavlovian. There is one lady in the parish that tends to cough as soon as the thurible comes out, and always complains: One day the altar-boys brought out an uncharged thurible - no smoke, just chains and clank - and she began hacking profusely. Afterwards she was told that the thurible was empty - she hasn't coughed since


    Sometimes (I think usually) it's Pavlovian. Sometimes it's crappy incense/coals, so make sure it's not that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Our priest actually tried that empty thurible trick one Sunday to see if anyone would complain. LOL.
  • Did they?

    Actually, an exquisite profusion of smoke has caused me to cough a little bit perhaps three times in my life. I would have been very disappointed had anyone taken this as a signal that incense should not be used. If it caused me any suffering at all I should think it well worth partaking in the glory of incense's smoke, its odour, its presence, its joy, its ecclesiastical panache, and the Divinity that it signals and honours.Those who would rob the entire congregation and God of this beautiful, this gorgeous and historic offering because of their problems with it are very selfish and thoughtless.
  • I've been treated for moderate to severe asthma (depends on the season and other factors) daily since childhood, and I love the use of incense. It doesn't always love me back... but I deal with my body's oversensitivity through staying hydrated and up on meds.

    I concur with other members as regards quality incense. That seems to interfere with my allergies and breathing a lot less.
    Thanked by 2Ben Yanke kenstb