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“Anointed Altar”

Ecclesiasticus 35: 6: “The offering of a righteous man anoints the altar, and its pleasing odor rises before the Most High.” Looked at one way, the incense with which the celebrant at the Eucharist anoints the altar is superfluous, because the gifts have already anointed it. So why do we have incense at the offertory? Perhaps to cover for the gifts that are missing. Not yours, I hope!

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