Sunday, April 3, 2011

Holy Smoke

A year ago at this time, my wife was preparing to be received into The Episcopal Church, having spent her whole life up till then as a Roman Catholic.

Part of that process included coursework, and an "instructed Eucharist" where the candidates for confirmation/ reception/ reaffirmation took on all the roles of the Mass (that a lay person can do). They were asked for 3 choices of roles to play. BP chose 1-thurifer, 2-thurifer, and 3-thurifer. The Cathedral uses incense every week for Mass (except during Lent), as well as Sunday Evensong. Along with the high choral service, incense is something both of us enjoy, and BP was pleased by the possibility of swinging the thurible. Following that, she finished the class and was received at Easter.

This last year, BP began serving as an acolyte and as a thurifer-in-training, generally boating for the regular thurifer as she shadowed him or her. (For those who don't know smoke-speak, the boat is the little container of extra incense for refueling the thurible, and if it isn't carried by the thurifer, the one who carries it is called Boat.)

BP and I both grew up RC in an era when girls had no formal role in church, and it has been wonderful watching her grow into this new role of service. As she approaches the first anniversary of her reception, appropriately enough she is almost fully fledged with the Smoke.

At Sunday Evensong, BP had her first real thurifer solo. Evensong is shorter than Sunday Eucharist and is where the thurifers do their final polishing. She's on the list to do the procession at Palm Sunday. I think it is marvelous that her first full service as thurifer is likely to be Easter.

Welcome home, honey.


JCF said...

Awesome! Here's stinkin' at BP. [Seriously, I love incense too. Don't think I've seen at at my (broad) Carmichael parish since Xmas Eve {Sigh}]

it's margaret said...

Yahhh! BP!!!! Stink it up honey!

Daniel Weir said...


IT said...

No 360s. (Yet. ;-)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Holy allure--good for BP.

Best always,

Counterlight said...

Thurifer is my favorite job. Even bishops respect you (they have to).