Following up from this thread, https://forums.anglican.net/threads/orthodoxy.2343/page-2#post-28262 Let's talk about incense in the Early Church. It seems that not only was there no advocacy for using it, but there was actual advocacy from the Fathers about not using it (or any other 'sensibles') in worship. Thoughts? Here is a good article summarizing the recent scholarship on this: David W T Brattston, Incense in Ante-Nicene Christianity (2003) In describing Christianity to a pagan audience in the middle of the second century, Justin Martyr wrote that ‘because Christians are reasonable and intelligent people, they know that God has no need of incense and therefore worship him with prayer and thanksgiving instead’. A few years later Athenagoras in a presentation of Christianity to pagans explained that Christians do not offer sacrifices because the Creator does not require blood nor the smell of burnt offerings or incense, God himself being ‘the perfect fragrance’. Also in the second century, the Letter of Barnabas called incense ‘a vain abomination’ which God has abolished from worship. Toward the end of the ante-Nicene period, Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea repeated this thought. In the early A.D. 300s Lactantius wrote that God is pleased only by incorporeal gifts such as praise and virtues, and that whoever tries to worship him with incense is ignorant of his nature. He further stated that incense is unacceptable and ineffectual because God requires not aromas but justice. Slightly later, Eusebius quoted the pagan philosopher Porphyry in support of the proposition that nothing perceptible to the senses is to be offered to God, especially not by burning; the proper offerings are pure thoughts, the state of grace and self-discipline. ============ For instance, here is Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6.25 (300s AD): ---- "... with those who by no means understand the nature of the Divine Being, a gift is anything which is wrought of gold or silver; likewise anything which is woven of purple and silk: a sacrifice is a victim, and as many things as are burnt upon the altar. But God does not make use either of the one or the other, because He is free from corruption, and that is altogether corruptible. Therefore, in each case, that which is incorporeal must be offered to God, for He accepts this. His offering is innocency of soul; His sacrifice praise and a hymn. For if God is not seen, He ought therefore to be worshipped with things which are not seen." ... when he heard Asclepius inquiring from his son whether it pleased him that incense and other odours for divine sacrifice were offered to his father, exclaimed: "Speak words of good omen, O Asclepius. For it is the greatest impiety to entertain any such thought concerning that being of pre-eminent goodness. For these things, and things resembling these, are not adapted to Him. For He is full of all things, as many as exist, and He has need of nothing at all. But let us give Him thanks, and adore Him. For His sacrifice consists only of blessing." And he spoke rightly. For we ought to sacrifice to God in word; inasmuch as God is the Word, as He Himself confessed. Therefore the chief ceremonial in the worship of God is praise from the mouth of a just man directed towards God."