From the vicar
One of the more obvious Catholic privileges is the use of incense which,
when managed effectively by a competent thurifer, enhances the liturgy, lifts
the whole being heavenwards and allows the congregation a foretaste of worship
with the angels.
The censer or thurible comes in many sizes, but has the same basic
design and function. It consists of a bowl in which charcoal and incense are
burnt and a perforated lid which allows the smoke to rise. The censer is
suspended on three chains which allow the thurible to be carried. A fourth
chain attached to the lid allows it to be raised for charging.
Before incense is used it is blessed by the priest, at the beginning of
mass and again before each specific use. At the beginning of mass the cross and
altar are incensed by the priest and then the priest himself is incensed by the
thurifer using three double swings. A similar pattern is to be observed at the
offertory after the nine-fold incensation of the elements.
Other persons and objects involved in the ritual are also incensed at
mass. The first of these, after the initial censing of the altar takes place at
the proclamation of the Gospel. Whilst still in the sanctuary, incense is added
to the thurible after which it is blessed. At the reading of the Gospel the
thurifer hands the censer to the priest (or deacon) who censed the Book of the
Gospels with three double swings, the first to the centre, the second to the
left and the third to the right.
The second is the incensation of the sacred ministers and congregation
which is made at the offertory. After the oblations, altar and celebrant have
been incensed, any other clergy present in choir are incensed using two double
swings. The servers are then censed individually with one double swing. If
there are three or more gathered together then they are incensed collectively
with three double swings after the manner of the Book of the Gospels. The
congregation is then incensed with three swings in the same manner.
The Blessed Sacrament is incensed during mass by the thurifer who,
having put on incense (without blessing) during the Sanctus, kneels at the
epistle side facing the celebrant or, if space does not allow, before the
altar. The incensations are then made with three double swings usually when the
celebrant genuflects, elevates and then genuflects again (as with the sanctus
bell). The thurifer then moves to the centre, genuflects and retires.
When a procession takes place as part of the liturgy incense may be
carried and side altars incensed along the route. Incensations may also be made
at funerals and would be expected at the Easter Ceremonies, solemn Evensong or
at benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The incensing of the congregation as members of the order of the laity
is particularly important to note. Those who gather for mass are not spectators
at an event, but are participants in the celebration of the greatest feast
known to man. They do so by virtue of the dignity of their baptism which marks
them as belonging to the Lord. The incensing of the people should never be seen
as an after-thought, but as an integral part of the rite. This may be more
obvious at a high mass when the bishop is present along with his college of
priests, deacons and the laity – all the orders gathered together in once
place, but it is no less true Sunday by Sunday in the humble parish church.
Here, every time mass is celebrated, priests and people gather in their own
orders with their own specific roles united by baptism in the Lord Jesus whose
saving death is remembered until he comes again.
Pray for the
organisations supported by St. Peter’s especially those engaged in evangelism:
Church Army, Barnabas
Fund and Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Wednesday 6th September, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
Wednesday 20th September, 8.00pm Parochial Church Council meeting (Parish
Tuesday 26th September, 10.00am Mass
Wednesday 27th September no service (SSC Synod)
Sunday 1st October
8.00am Said Communion (BCP)
9.30am Parish Mass (Modern Rite)
at both services: Father Milo Brandon, Chaplain at Haberdashers Aske’s School
the registers –
12th August Alexander Abraam Varma
St. Peter’s Quiz Night
and fish supper
23rd September at 7.00pm
£12 per head. See the weekly pewsheet for full details.
the sheet at the back of church to book either fish and chips or chicken and
Great Community Mural Competition
Congratulations to Enoka David whose drawing
won the St. Peter’s competition and has been entered into the national final
sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance. A copy of Enoka’s work, along with all
the other entries can be seen at the back of church. Thank you very much to all
who contributed by putting in so much hard work and sharing their inspiration
Fr. Andrew is expecting to have a replacement
hip during October. This may necessitate some minor alterations to the usual
programme of services. Please look out for the October newsletter which will
contain full details for the month.
on the Thailand-Burma Border
pupils and friends of Janine and Rebecca Carnac
9th September, 7.00pm
Peter’s Church, Bushey Heath
Refreshments will be available during the
Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off
Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).
vicar welcomes enquiries about Baptism, Marriage and Confirmation. The
Sacrament for the Sick, the Churching of Women, the Blessing of Houses and
Confession are available by appointment.
prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be
offered for 2 weeks.