Quick question about Incense

Today, I went to Tarpon Springs, Fl. (Chinatown is to Chinese, as Tarpon Springs is to Greeks)
I bought a Censer, some Livani Incense, and some Charcoal. (Among Other Things)
So, how exactly do I light the Charcoal so it stays lit? They’re the quick light, but they don’t stay on fire.

Hold the charcoal with tongs for about a minute or so. Use another charcoal tablet if necessary. After that place into the censer and impose incense in the thurible directly on top of the charcoal. Now your thurible is ready to use.

-Use with a lot of ventilation
-Be very careful when using as it is VERY hot
-Psalm 141
-Make sure what you’re using is blessed as to recieve the graces of a sacramental

It doesn’t stay lit if you mean like a flame or even red.When you light it there is a kind of sparkle and sizzle as the heat travels through the charcoal and then that stops.
Once you light it the heat should just remain. The resin in the incense pellets sticks to the hot charcoal and holds it on the charcoal, sort of. I’ve never timed it but I think a piece of charcoal the size of a quarter keeps the incense going about 20 minutes, but I really can’t say for sure and I don’t know if it’s the charcoal or the incense that stops.

Some charcoal is better than others. A “roll” lasts a long time, you don’t need much each time. I have been happiest with what I’ve gotten at my church bookstore or the Orthodox Cathedral bookstore, I got some at the local Greek festival a couple years ago which cost a little bit less and did not work well. Same with the cheaper incense I bought at the festival. I just use the church bookstores now.

I see tbtcom1213 replied while I was writing. I myself just hold a little piece of quicklite charcoal with my fingers for only maybe the two or three seconds it takes for the sparkles to travel through the charcoal. Once that little fizzle part has happened I put it in the burner. The burner I usually use is soapstone. Like metal burners the heat can travel through it. I always put it on something safe for that heat, usually tile.

Enjoy! :slight_smile: My favorite is the rose incense our deacon usually uses during liturgy.

If you notice at Mass, they always go out after some time, and one of the altar boy’s is assigned the task of relighting it as needed, and placing on more incense.

For the church I buy Three Kings charcoal and one disk will burn for at least 45 minutes. I used to light it 15 minutes before Evening Prayer and it would still be going strong at the end of EP, 30 minutes later.

I’ll add that once the coal sizzles and sparks, blowing on it helps spread the heat more quickly. And yes, it does depend on the quality of the coal: some light easily and some are a royal pain. If there’s no sizzle and spark, it’s the latter kind and will take the tongs and constant application of a flame to one edge to get it going. Then, once that edge starts to glow red, blowing will help spread the heat to the rest of the coal.

Depending on the depth of the censor, a good quick-light coal can often be lighted after it’s placed inside. I find wooden stick matches to be the best for that. And my experience also says that a quarter-sized coal, once ignited, will last 20-30 minutes, depending on how much incense is used.

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