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Source: (consider it) Thread: Two thuribles
Incensed
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https://www.facebook.com/St-Marys-Bourne-Street-331825049877/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

Don't know if the above link to the Facebook Page of St Mary's Bourne Street will work, but there is a great video there showing two thuribles being swung together. I don't know whether many churches do this. I think I have seen it elsewhere but I cannot remember where!

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Brenda Clough
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-Two- thurifers, very impressive! I have never seen but one. The one ordination I went to, however, had a thurifer who was able to swing the censer in a circle in midair over his head, right over the heads of the cringing congregation. That brought our attention fully to the fore.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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dj_ordinaire
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I think there are certain cases where it has traditionally been considered appropriate - during a Solemn Te Deum and before a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament are the two which come to mind.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Ceremoniar
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What DJ said. Thus, it is customary to have two thurifers on Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi, as both involve a procession of the Blessed Sacrament as part of the liturgy of the day. I have seen two thurifers on a handful of other occasions, but that is not the norm.
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BabyWombat
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Years ago I saw two thuribles in use at St. Mary the Virgin in NYC during the singing of a Solemn Te Deum -- thurifers standing facing the altar, thuribles being swung left to right simultanesouly. Also during a Corpus Christi procession, each thurfier swinging a bit, then the other taking over while the first had more incense added.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
I think there are certain cases where it has traditionally been considered appropriate - during a Solemn Te Deum and before a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament are the two which come to mind.

Tangent - what makes a Solemn Te Deum different from an ordinary one and when is it done?
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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
I think there are certain cases where it has traditionally been considered appropriate - during a Solemn Te Deum and before a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament are the two which come to mind.

Tangent - what makes a Solemn Te Deum different from an ordinary one and when is it done?
Solemn in this case does not mean no grinning and laughhing!

A solemn service or act of devotion, including Te Deum basically means the full works as far as possible - incense; lights; a full team of servers; the musical department, to a greater or lesser degree. In its normal course, the Te Deum is said or sung as a cantical at Morning Prayer, when it is ordinary and not solemn. The Solemn Te Deum tends to be used on festive occasions and not as part of Morning Prayer.

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Joyeuses Pâques! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!

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Ascension-ite
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Double thuribles are common in TEC Anglo-Catholic circles during a solemn TeDeum. Here is the parish of my youth doing it for Trinity Sunday. Church of the Advent TeDeum
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Bishops Finger
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*Just sing a Te Deum when you see that ICBM.......* - Tom Lehrer.

[Help]

I'll get me coat...

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Gee D
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Of course, this is a slightly different instance, but for our ecumenical procession on Palm Sunday, we have a thurifer each for us and the Catholic Church - and then 2 crucifers.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Stephen
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
*Just sing a Te Deum when you see that ICBM.......* - Tom Lehrer.

[Help]

I'll get me coat...

IJ

....and don't forget the incense......
[Killing me]

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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dj_ordinaire
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
I think there are certain cases where it has traditionally been considered appropriate - during a Solemn Te Deum and before a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament are the two which come to mind.

Tangent - what makes a Solemn Te Deum different from an ordinary one and when is it done?
As others have said, the fact that the Te Deum is performed with 'the works', in order to celebrate any particularly important or auspicious occasion.

I think Shakespeare has Henry V call for 'Te Deum and Non Nobis' to be sung to celebrate Agincourt so I suppose a thanksgiving for victory might be one such.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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american piskie
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I've seen Solemn Te Deum done after High Mass on Trinity Sunday, Christ the King, and Jubilees of the Reigning Monarch. The first two with doubled thuribles.

On the whole less fun than the censing of the altars, images, and everyone during the Magnificat of Solemn Evensong, I reckon. But fun, nevertheless.

As to twin thuribles, I used to see it regularly at the Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi processions. But noble simplicity now seems to rule where I worship: despite the acquisition of a third thurible. [Biased]

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dj_ordinaire
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Additional to this:

The Catholic Encyclopedia refers to the custom:

quote:
In addition to its use in the Divine Office, the Te Deum is occasionally sung in thanksgiving to God for some special blessing (e.g. the election of a pope, the consecration of a bishop, the canonization of a saint, the profession of a religious, the publication of a treaty of peace, a royal coronation, etc.), and then usually after Mass or Divine Office, or as a separate religious ceremony.
Full link here.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Vulpior

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We changed our altar of repose from a location round the corner from the high altar to the west end of the church. This meant a level of ceremony for the transfer of the blessed sacrament and we used two thuribles effectively.

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leo
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I remember being one of 2 thurifers on one Maundy Thursday - walking backwards so as to face the MBS.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Ceremoniar
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One of the reasons for having two thurifers is so that neither has to walk backwards. The Most Holy is always being incensed. Rubricists of the past (O'Connell, Fortescue, McManus, etc. ) and of the present (Elliott) remind us not to have the thurifer walk backwards.
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Tobias
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It is indeed difficult to walk backwards without being undignified - whether that is by constantly looking over one's shoulder, or, worse, by tripping over or bumping into something. It's not impossible, though.

I don't think I've seen it done in the western rite, but I have seen it done, and done well, in a Melkite church, the thurifer walking backwards at the Great Entrance and continuously censing the (not even yet consecrated) Gifts. When I first saw it as a boy I found it quite striking - much more impressive than anything done at my own parish. (It probably helps that they do it every Sunday - one would come to know the route without looking.)

I would say, though, that it's something better not done unless it can be done really well.

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Tobias
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Sorry for the double-post.

I've noticed that my last post reads as if I am arguing with Ceremoniar - who in fact didn't say anything at all about walking backwards being undignified. I can't think of any other reason, though, why walking backwards would have been discouraged or forbidden.

As a point of interest, is there actually a rubric forbidding it? Or did Fortescue et al. just dislike it?

[ 20. April 2017, 06:36: Message edited by: Tobias ]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Tobias:
I've noticed that my last post reads as if I am arguing with Ceremoniar - who in fact didn't say anything at all about walking backwards being undignified. I can't think of any other reason, though, why walking backwards would have been discouraged or forbidden.

Because it's dangerous? You're carrying burning coals and you can't see where you're going.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Ceremoniar
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No offense taken, Tobias. I can check Fortescue when I get home tonight. I don't think that there is a rubric, but there may have been a dubium submitted to the Sacred Congregation of Rites back in the day, and the reply resulted in a discouragement of the practice. Like posters here, Fortescue does say that the practice is unedifying and dangerous, as does now-Bishop Peter Elliott in his ritual books of recent years.
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fletcher christian

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I kept expecting to see the three triple full circular swings in that video. If I'd been there I'd be demanding my collection back.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Tobias:
As a point of interest, is there actually a rubric forbidding it? Or did Fortescue et al. just dislike it?

Probably no rubric; the authors just dislike it and in general are against walking backward in liturgy. Don't back up down the steps, but turn around and go forward. Even a priest at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament doesn't go fully backward but sideways (the "crabwalk") to avoid turning his back to the Sacrament.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ceremoniar:
One of the reasons for having two thurifers is so that neither has to walk backwards. The Most Holy is always being incensed. Rubricists of the past (O'Connell, Fortescue, McManus, etc. ) and of the present (Elliott) remind us not to have the thurifer walk backwards.

As I now remember it, we walked sideways.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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sonata3
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I remember a Mass at the Cathedral in Montreal with two thuribles - not a Te Deum or procession, but one each on either side of the celebrant during the Eucharistic Prayer. i seem to recall that Dix notes this as a custom in some parts of France.

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"I prefer neurotic people; I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface." Stephen Sondheim

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Utrecht Catholic
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I remember having seen two thuribles during the Easter Solemn Eucharist at the Cathedral of St.John the Divine,New-York.
The two thurifers did an excellen job,they had the perfect liturgical skills.

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Robert Kennedy

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Teekeey Misha
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
I can't think of any other reason, though, why walking backwards would have been discouraged or forbidden.
Because it's dangerous? You're carrying burning coals and you can't see where you're going.
That's what boatboys are for, surely?

Tewkesbury Abbey and StMBS are the two places I know that regularly use two thuribles.


[Edit ... random, but I couldn't stand the UBB-fluggle before my third coffee]

[ 18. May 2017, 18:51: Message edited by: Zappa ]

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Misha
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BulldogSacristan
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quote:
Originally posted by Tobias:
As a point of interest, is there actually a rubric forbidding it? Or did Fortescue et al. just dislike it?

Also, if I saw two thurifers walking backwards, I'd have a hard time tearing my eyes away and focusing on the Sacrament, and I can't help but believe I'm not alone in that. To me, that's the biggest argument for not having anybody walk backwards.
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Alex Cockell

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"Cleric scores a Critical Fumble - roll a d100 on the followign chart for effect"

https://saveversus.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/fumble-charts-dd-5th-edition/

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Sacerdote
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In recent years the Vatican has introduced two thuribles at papal vespers. The Pope no longer incenses the altar but puts incense into two thuribles, presented by two deacons, who then divide the incensation between them. I've no idea of the reason for this, nor if there's any precedent for it.
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Utrecht Catholic
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I think that this tradition comes from the Diocese of Milan,Ambrosian Rite.
I noticed it myself a few years ago, when attending Solemn Vespers in the magnificent cathedral in Milan.
Furthermore, have never seen it in any other western church.

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Robert Kennedy

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Bishops Finger
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And presumably the Pope can do as he pleases at his own Vespers. Maybe he just likes big clouds of incense?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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