Parish of St. Monica and St. James
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
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At St. Monica & St. James', we burn liturgical incense that is produced by the Anglican Benedictine monks of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York. Depending on the liturgical calendar, any of the following blends could be used: St. Benedict, Sancta Crux, Santiago, St. Augustine.
In less sanitary and hygienic times, the Early church, believing that the smoke could purify objects and people who were censed with it, started using incense during the Holy Eucharist. Today, we use it symbolically to signify our prayers rising in our sight, in God’s presence.
It is a good example of our Anglo-Catholic approach to worship: engaging our whole self and all our senses. Sight, sound, motion, smell, taste, and touch – all of these things assist us in worshipping God.