What is the history of using incense in worship?
The use of incense has its roots in the worship of ancient Assyria, Babylon, Egypt and Israel. (See Num 7:13-17; Ex 30:1-10) The Gospel according to Luke also makes reference to the use of incense. (see Luke 1:10) Revelation describes the worship of God in heaven with incense being brought to Him in a golden censer by an angel. (see Rev 8:3-5; This text is also the basis of the imagery used in the prayer to bless the incense during the offertory.) However, there is no evidence of the use of incense in Christian worship for the first four centuries because the Church could not worship publicly without persecution. Since incense was still being used in Jewish liturgies at the time and Christians would have remembered its use in the Temple, it is reasonable to assume that they adopted the practice from Judaism.