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Old Nov 18, '11, 3:53 pm
BusterMartin BusterMartin is offline
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Default Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

If you have an icon corner at home, is it permissible to use incense (stick or otherwise) bought form a local store? Or is it expected (in either EC or EO faiths) that the incense be made from a monastery or the like? I want to add incense to my icon corner, but I can't really pay what my local Orthodox dealer is charging (at least not right now). Is there anything inherently wrong with buying and using other cheaper incense products?
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  #2  
Old Nov 18, '11, 5:16 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

To my knowledge you should be able to use whatever incense is available to you. It shouldn't really matter who made it.
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Old Nov 18, '11, 5:33 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

One caution: It has been my experience that you get what you pay for. The cheaper incenses are usually generous on smoke and limited on aroma.

On the other hand you have to fit your budget.
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Old Nov 18, '11, 7:23 pm
BusterMartin BusterMartin is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

Thank you, both! One more question - if I buy incense from a store instead of a monastery or Church or whatnot, should I have it blessed before using it like I did with my icons? If not required to get it blessed, is it typical practice to do so?
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Old Nov 19, '11, 9:52 am
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

To my knowledge there is no need to have your incense blessed. The Byzantine attitude is that it becomes blessed through use. Still, you may have the incense blessed if you so desire. It's really up to you.
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Old Nov 19, '11, 12:29 pm
BusterMartin BusterMartin is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

Thanks again for the input!!
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Old Nov 19, '11, 12:41 pm
malphono malphono is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

One other thing that one might do is see if your parish will sell you some incense. They normally get it by the pound anyway and might be willing to part with some at cost. That way you avoid the acrid smoke of cheap stuff (when, sometimes, can be an invitation to lunch with the Fire Chief) and still keep an eye on your pocket-book.
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Old Nov 23, '11, 9:03 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

Quote:
Originally Posted by BusterMartin View Post
If you have an icon corner at home, is it permissible to use incense (stick or otherwise) bought form a local store? Or is it expected (in either EC or EO faiths) that the incense be made from a monastery or the like? I want to add incense to my icon corner, but I can't really pay what my local Orthodox dealer is charging (at least not right now). Is there anything inherently wrong with buying and using other cheaper incense products?
A little bag of incense can go a long way. A 1 oz bag of frankincense, for example, may cost only $5 but last months if you only use a small nugget at a time (which is all that's really needed for a small room). I buy my incense from Orthodox Incense.

There is nothing inherently wrong with buying cheaper incense products, but if you use incense and charcoal economically (only small pieces at a time), there should not be a problem.

Some Orthodox incense providers will sell big bags and/or cans for much higher prices than small bags, but really you can comfortably start with a small 1 oz bag.
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Old Nov 23, '11, 9:08 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: Icon (Prayer) Corner & Incense

Quote:
Originally Posted by malphono View Post
One other thing that one might do is see if your parish will sell you some incense. They normally get it by the pound anyway and might be willing to part with some at cost. That way you avoid the acrid smoke of cheap stuff (when, sometimes, can be an invitation to lunch with the Fire Chief) and still keep an eye on your pocket-book.
A tip I learned is to break up charcoal, when possible, and only lighting a small portion at a time. This way, whenever the charcoal is lit, it emits only a minimal amount of smoke, and is just enough to burn an incense pellet or two.

I've found that many good incense products will emit acrid smoke after charring on the charcoal a few minutes, so I usually close the censer lid a minute or two after the incense is lit.
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