In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Before the Exsultet, if sung by a cantor, who incenses the text? The priest or deacon? or can the lay person incense…or rather, should whomever is singing the Exsultet incense it? I know it’s a minor detail, but one that keeps my mind spinning. Thanks!


A: I presume that the person who sings the exsultet incenses the book and the candle. The missal is not clear. It states that the deacon does so before he proclaims the exsultet. Then it concedes that the presider, concelebrant or even a lay minister may sing the exsultet, but it is silent about the incensation.

I think it makes sense for the one singing to incense as well. Lay people may incense priest and people during the preparation of the gifts, and the most blessed sacrament when the priest shows the host and chalice to the people at the consecration of mass. Surely they may incense book and candle.