As someone who grew up Italian Catholic but was born in Russia, I have always been interested in the Eastern Rite Churches, especially the Russian Orthodox tradition. As a result, I have recently been attending Eastern Rite Catholic Churches to help me understand and get an idea of how my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters conserve their traditions here in the West.
Many of the parishes I have attended in my city use incense, Icons and standing traditions to pray. Visiting these communities has given me an appreciation for the practices of other regions of the world. Still, it has opened my eyes to show me this tradition is something I can see myself truly embracing as I endeavour into my more profound Catholic tradition. Lastly, in everyday life, I use icons and incense in my daily prayer life not just as a window into the divine but also to cherish and tie my Eastern European heritage with my Western Catholic upbringing.