Why do we use incense in our liturgy?
The use of incense was adopted by Christians because they saw the value of giving their best to God. Even though today incense may inspire worried coughs and fear of asthma attacks, in earlier times incense was considered to be pleasant to the senses much like perfume. So, just as we use beautiful art and music to enhance the Sacred Liturgy, so we try to bring our best scents to the Mass. Also, incense adds a certain ambiance of heaven to the Mass. The Mass itself links heaven and earth because Christ Himself comes to us and by His presence makes heaven present at Mass. Because our senses fail to see this, though our faith knows it, it is useful to have reminders that we are entering into heaven when we come to Holy Mass. The incense is also a visual reminder that as the smoke goes up to the sky, our prayers ascend upward to heaven. The incense adds to solemnity of the occasion.