Saturday, 27 June 2009

Incense drill and "spin the biretta"

After the Latin lesson today, we had incense drill. There are various options but here is a typical example for incensing something (e.g. statue of Our Lady) when the priest is wearing a cope, there is an MC (or "1st assistant") and a 2nd assistant.
  • Priest faces right.
  • Thurifer moves in.
  • 2nd assistant moves round.
  • MC hands edge of cope to 2nd assistant
  • MC takes boat.
  • Thurfier opens thurible.
  • MC presents boat to priest, saying "Benedicite Pater Reverende", holds boat just below lip of thurible.
  • Priest puts three spoons of incense in.
  • Priest makes sign of cross over incense in thurible. (Thurifer does not lower thurible until this has been done.)
  • Thurfier closes thurible.
  • MC hands boat to thurifer and takes thurible (this took a couple of goes).
  • 2nd assistant goes back to left of priest.
  • MC hands thurible to priest.
  • MC and second assistant hold cope.
  • Priest incenses.
  • MC takes thurible from priest and hands it back to thurifer.
Much of this is transferable with minor differences. At Benediction, since the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, there is no blessing. If there is no second assistant, the MC holds the cope and the thurifer nips round to hold the other side during the actual incensing. During Mass (Missa Cantata) there is no cope to worry about, and no 2nd assistant. The drill is useful for the young servers to get things second nature, feel more confident, and look really expert.

We then moved onto "spin the biretta" - each server is handed the biretta after it has been spun around in the air, and has to hand it to the priest the correct way. This was quite fun. (Remember they are only 7-8 years old.)
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