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Thursday 29 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany

Holy smokes: an electric incense thurible?

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/15/15

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A reader mentioned this to me in an email, and I didn’t even know such things existed. But through the miracle of Google, I found it:

NO MORE CARBON – only the aroma of incense all around. INSTRUCTIONS: It is extremely easy to use and fully automatic. After having added your incense, all you need to do is touch the switch and after a few seconds the incense will start to burn for the preset time of 3 minutes. Press the start button again to interrupt functioning before the preset time. FEATURES: Supplied complete with battery charger and incense boat. Up to 4-5 incense cycles, 3 minutes each, on a single charge. You will receive a pack of incense grains FOR FREE. Provided with a 2 year warranty from the purchase of the product. A safe product (no more carbon needed), an investment (guaranteed for long-term, you only need to change the battery) and ecological with incense saving.

Call me old fashioned. But give me charcoal and burning embers, please. Now and then, liturgy demands something  primal: a flickering flame, sprinkled water, blessed oil, beeswax candles, broken bread, poured wine in precious metal. Reducing the act of burning incense—an ancient practice older than Christianity—to the push of a button and the charge of a battery is weirdly clinical and virtually dead. Let there be light. And sparks. And the smell of charcoal burning. Please.

Modern shortcuts don’t cut it. Sorry. It’s just not the same.

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