Incense

Does anyone here use incense during they pray? Do you use a thurible or incense sticks?

i would love to start using incense but just dont know how to go about doing it..so im looking foward to hearing your answers.:D

I don't habitually use it when praying at home, but it's a lovely idea. When I have used it, I used sticks. I found some that are allegedly associated with different saints/angels (depending on the scent). I personally tend to like the scents that are more commonly associated with the Church (more along the lines of frankincense, etc.) as opposed to what I call the "novelty" scents (flowers, 'rain,' etc.).

But even when I'm not praying, I love incense. :) I live in a house with 2 cats, 2 dogs, and a pig, so any type of incense or scented candles is a plus around here! ;)

Miz

the incense used at Mass is rough on my nose. if I was to use some it would need a softer smell. but I don't have a pig in the house anymore???

I wish I could burn incense when I pray, but my mom and dad are both allergic to it. :( I love the smell of incense at Mass. It's what I imagine Heaven to smell like. :D

Watch out for the smoke detectors at home... :whistle:

I love incense too! It drives the rest of my family crazy though... but I still love it :D My cousin actually burns it in her car (with the windows cracked of course) and it's just the coolest thing... it's not really religious though, she's a bit of a hippie :rolleyes:;)

I have an incense burner that I got from one of the supply houses. I get the small charcoals (dime size) and incense (Trappist, I forget the scent) from Monastery Greetings. They are a bit expensive but have good quality. The small charcoals only take a pinch of incense; so it lasts a long time.

They have a starter kit, complete with a hanging brass censer for $44.95. The hanging censer is a good idea. I have one that sits on the table. It is a bit top heavy so care must be taken that it doesn't fall over and start a fire.

Don't buy cheap incense - it is heavy on smoke and low on scent.

Be sure to have good ventilation [an open window] when burning charcoal. A small piece generates a lot of Carbon Monoxide, which is lethal in rather low concentrations.

And, as mentioned earlier, isolate it from any smoke detectors -especially if you burn it early in the morning while your spouse is still sleeping :eek:.

DaughterOfMary6,

Your comment about what you imagine Heaven to smell like made me laugh. Then I look down at your signature, “A Rosary a day keeps Satan away!” made me laugh again. : )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Incense during prayer. . Well. .

I burn incense A LOT. All the time. I love the smell–particularly of incense that has Sandalwood in it. . I love the smell of Sandalwood. . --and I live in a house with two poop-machines that the world calls "cats. . " What can I say?

I can’t say I’ve burned incense while I’ve prayed, but I will say that I have burned sage while I’ve prayed. I don’t burn sage every time I pray, though. It’s just once-in-a-while. It’s a cultural thing, I guess.

I use a censer similar to this one:
http://orthodoxincense.com/display_image.php?ximgid=73&ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Censers/CEN1801.jpg&archive=0&final_h=240&final_w=180&percent=80

Inside I use a disk of charcoal similar to these:

http://orthodoxincense.com/display_image.php?ximgid=81&ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/General/PB170142.JPG&archive=0&final_h=192&final_w=256&percent=40

After receiving some good advice from people here on this forum last year, I was able to finally use my censer properly. I as advised to smash up the chunks of incense resin into more of a powder lest they melt and drown out my charcoal.

Primarily I use incense when I pray evening prayer.

[quote="BeeSweet, post:10, topic:181720"]
I use a censer similar to this one:
http://orthodoxincense.com/display_image.php?ximgid=73&ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Censers/CEN1801.jpg&archive=0&final_h=240&final_w=180&percent=80

Inside I use a disk of charcoal similar to these:

http://orthodoxincense.com/display_image.php?ximgid=81&ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/General/PB170142.JPG&archive=0&final_h=192&final_w=256&percent=40

After receiving some good advice from people here on this forum last year, I was able to finally use my censer properly. I as advised to smash up the chunks of incense resin into more of a powder lest they melt and drown out my charcoal.

Primarily I use incense when I pray evening prayer.

[/quote]

That censer is beautiful

Thank you for showing us a picture--I wasn't all that sure what it was. I mean, I figured it was a vessel for burning incense--thank you, context clues!--but I didn't have a great idea of what it looked like. I didn't know the term "censer" meant "incense burner." (That's a phrase I've heard a lot of people say).

I have seen many "incense burners," but not one quite like that.

I use frankincense and myrrh sticks. Have to be careful, though. My family doesn't like the smokiness afterwards. So I wait until they take off on a shopping spree.

Joe

You used to have a pig?!? Awesome!

Actually, the pig far cleaner than the dogs, and odor-free (he had his “boy surgery” as a baby).

I also forgot to mention that in addition to the inside pets, we also have a horse…so we are constantly tracking in…ummmm…“horsey by-products” on our boots. :wink:

Miz

[quote="Joe_Kelley, post:8, topic:181720"]
Don't buy cheap incense - it is heavy on smoke and low on scent. .

[/quote]

I thought one of the purposes of incense was that the smoke rising was a symbol of your prayers rising to heaven. I don't know what incense Father was using this Christmas, but I loved the scent and it produced a lot of smoke rising. It was beautiful. I don't burn incense at home, though.

I like ponitical blend. Last Christmas I used it in an censor at home like those posted earlier in the thread - I thought it was great (my family rebelled :-( ). I now keep some of the resin for this belend in a havdalah spice box (a metel spice box designed (used by Jews weekly at the end of the Sabbath) with holes to allow the smell of spices, or in this case, resin, to permeate when shaken). I shake it each Sunday (and sometimes during the week when praying in my home office). It gives off the "scent" of the inscense without the smoke and much more discreetly than burning incense. This makes me happy, and keeps my wife and kids happy :-)

Blessings,

Brian

This is very new to me, personally speaking anyway.

Protestants are discouraged to do those things. . It is considered "ritualistic," and supposedly "does not glorify our God." Firstly. . Protestants have their own rituals, too. . Even the way the Sunday service is done each week could be seen as a ritual. . But, I just have to say that, even though I think it is a lovely idea, I'm not sure if I would do it any time soon. It was drilled into my head that I shouldn't. . Sigh.

I even got reprimanded by a Chaplain for burning sage, occasionally, during prayer. He got to me a little bit, but the next time I saw him, I politely explained the situation to him, as he got so caught up in the mere fact that I had burned sage during a prayer to God, he was not really listening to me while I was speaking. After I was done, he apologized and told me that he should have listened more closely. He was really a nice Chaplain, quite good at his job, but when he did that to me, I felt alienated.

I've felt alienated in general, on topics such as this because like you, I see nothing wrong with this practice. But, so many Protestants strongly assert that it is wrong.

As I said, I am very familiar with the idea itself, at least, objectively speaking. I've studied many religions, and I find that most of those religions have practices such as these. For their own reasons, of course. I just think it is interesting how many people do it, though.

During prayer sometimes, but often just during the day, over my sink.

I use similar charcoal. I usually break it into approximately a 1/4 of the disc and use just the 1/4 disc at a time. It’s self lighting so lights with a match easily. I use Athonite Style Incense what you’re calling resin chunks, I think, similar to what comes in the cans shown at Monastery Greetings a source Joe Kelley mentioned and the chunks look like this . I get mine at my Byzantine parish or sometimes at the Orthodox cathedral bookstore if I’m there for some other reason. I prefer the rose incense our deacon often uses and highly recommend rose. :slight_smile: I put one or two of the little bitty chunks on the charcoal after it’s burning. The resin makes the chunks stick to the charcoal. I haven’t had the issue you mention, BeeSweet!, of the incense melting and drowning out the charcoal, but I will try crushing it to see what happens. Doesn’t it burn down faster that way?, asks Mz Thrifty LOL

I have several containers for burning it in. One is stone, the others are old brass. They are all basically just like little pots with lids that have holes for the smoke to come out of. You don’t need anything special, just something that can tolerate the extreme heat; no lid is necessary.

Orthodox churches usually do have book stores and in many places are more prevalent in the US than are Eastern Catholic parishes and their bookstores.:slight_smile: The book stores are typically open for an hour or so before or after the Divine Liturgy. They are excellent places to get the charcoal and different fragrance incense in small quantities for home use, without paying shipping. Usually the incense is made by monks and helps support their monasteries.

[quote="lareinatortura, post:9, topic:181720"]
DaughterOfMary6,

Your comment about what you imagine Heaven to smell like made me laugh. Then I look down at your signature, "A Rosary a day keeps Satan away!" made me laugh again. : )

[/quote]

I live to serve. :thumbsup:

[quote="Robbinson, post:15, topic:181720"]
I like ponitical blend. Last Christmas I used it in an censor at home like those posted earlier in the thread - I thought it was great (my family rebelled :-( ). I now keep some of the resin for this belend in a havdalah spice box (a metel spice box designed (used by Jews weekly at the end of the Sabbath) with holes to allow the smell of spices, or in this case, resin, to permeate when shaken). I shake it each Sunday (and sometimes during the week when praying in my home office). It gives off the "scent" of the inscense without the smoke and much more discreetly than burning incense. This makes me happy, and keeps my wife and kids happy :-)

Blessings,

Brian

[/quote]

I'll have to look into that. I love the smell, but my family starts coughing if they are near it. :( My mom had coughing and headaches at the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass...

I find that my censer ceases working after a time. The charcoal goes out when only half burnt. It appears to be resin from the smoke condensing on the ventilation holes. Due to edge effects the flow is seriously impeded when they still appear half clear.

I haven't found anything effective in removing the resin - didn't look to hard. I use a letter opener to scrape them out, but it probably doesn't improve the looks of the censer. Mine is pretty battered and burnt anyway.

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