Saturday, 1 September 2012

Incense - Know the Dangers

I am afraid we have lost Randolph.

It was Eileen who came to tell me the bad news. He had gone across to the Beaker Folk to ask if he could borrow a pint of milk for our Manly Breakfast Meeting. At these gatherings, of course, we eat cereal - as being able to cook bacon and eggs is not a manly thing to do, and therefore forbidden by Scripture to those possessing Y Chromosomes.

Eileen and her gang of hell-bound heretics were holding a "Vatican One Experience Morning". Being the Beaker Folk, of course, this had nothing to do with any authentic expression of Roman Catholicism - which at least was something - but consisted of them burning large amounts of incense while chanting.

It was the incense that did it. It acted, in Eileen's words "like an ecclesiastical nano-cloud." We did not see Randolph again this morning. But when he just knocked on my door to tender his resignation as deacon of Bogwulf Baptist Chapel, the damage was obvious. He was wearing a cassock and cotter, smelt of sherry, was carrying a length of lace and referred to me as "dear". Under the influence of incense, he has become an Anglo-Catholic.

Brothers and Sisters (particularly Brothers who are currently unmarried) - be careful. Incense is like a drug. You may catch a whiff of it, and feel strangely attracted to it. Stay away. It may not act as swiftly as it did with Randolph. You may think you can take it or leave it. You may tell yourself you only burn it on "high days and holy days".  But one day you will find yourself leafing through Newman's Apologia while wondering about the facilities at Mirfield.

Incense. Know the Dangers.


  1. Poor Randolph. On the other hand, it could have been worse: exposure to incense could have turned him into a hippy. We should be grateful for small mercies.

    1. Yeah, but then maybe I could have made some money out of him. Anglo-Catholics notoriously spend all their money on gin and lace, and I don't have a licence. Although I do have a lot of doilies...

  2. Incense is just like smoking 100 a day.

    In my RC youth, we were constantly assaulted by incense (and Holy Water being chucked over us) by Priests whose Tridentine credentials were impeccable.

    Now an Anglican, I found suspicious evidence of our parish having a slant towards Rome when I discovered an ageing and very dusty thurible in an old vestry cupboard.

    When I mentioned it to the Vicar he cautioned silence. He pointed out that there were one or two subversives in the parish who wanted all the trappings of Anglo Catholicism and were trying to insinuate them onto the Parochial Church Council.

    So far, he had resisted by declaring us as being Very Low Church historically, with a move afoot to move a little to middle of the road (He feels safe in this as all of those who remember those days have gone to their reward). He said that he had sold all of the lace vestments and surplus gin to the Ordinariate, thus removing the last traces of the true parish history.


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