Ask Father: Incense, High Mass, and Christmas

Ask Father: Why is incense used at some Masses? Has the term “High Mass” been retired? Why are there High Masses and regular Masses? What is the meaning of the movement of the thurible, back and forth, circular, etc?

Also, this is not a question but a request for explanation. I have attended many Christmas Masses but this year I noticed that while we celebrate the birth of Christ, we still call to mind his death and resurrection. I know there cannot be a Mass without the Eucharist, but it seems to be a dichotomy (birth/death) at the Christmas Mass.

Dear friend in Christ,