Rev. 8:3: And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.
Psalm 141:2: Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!
Incense is only one of the ceremonials in Catholic ritual and worship that is validated by the bible. The fragrant smoke proved quite practical in outside processions against the pungent smells of the city streets. Sanitation not being what it is today, incense proved quite helpful on this account in old Rome. While there are references to the use of incense in the bible, some of the early Christians avoided it because of cost and because it was also used by the pagans. After paganism was extinguished, this was no longer a concern. The smoke of the incense is a symbol of our prayers and our offering. It rises into the air just as we hope that our prayers will be taken up to the throne of God for a hearing.