As we prepare for the new English translation of the Mass, which we will begin using on the first Sunday of Advent-2011, it seems good that we first take a look at those things which are not going to change, but either were not implemented very well back in the 70's, or have fallen into disuse through inattention or what have you.
Standing is an attitude of attention, preparedness, and honor in our culture. When we are greeting or addressing someone of importance we stand. We also stand when we are being particularly attentive. And, we stand when we are acting in a particular way as "one body" - hence, the saying "stand with me".
During the 70's - 90's we stripped our worship of many things that were quite distinctively "Catholic" in American Christian worship. Sadly, along with leaving these things behind we left behind the sense of wonder and awe that ought to accompany the worship of God. Of course, maybe that is part of the reason that these things went away. As we will discuss later, with regards to music, we made a sad transition from worshiping God to celebrating ourselves, with a nod to God - and doing it as quickly as possible.
The magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrh. As you will recall from the carol sung on the feast of epiphany, frankincense "bespeaks a deity nigh". It was the tradition of many peoples to burn incense to honor a God. Incense was burned in many ancient temples and was made from a number of things from sweet smelling woods (especially cedar) to dried flower petals, to the gum known as frankincense.