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[[image:censer.jpg|right|thumb|A typical Orthodox censer]]<br><br>[[Image:Catuie-katzion1.JPG|right|thumb|Small censer]]A '''censer''' <ref group="note">{{el icon}}: Θυμιατο, ''Thymiato.''<br>{{cu icon}}: Кадилница, ''Kadilnitsa.''</ref> is a small metal or stone dish used for burning [[incense]]. A common design is a metal container, about the size and shape of a small coffee-pot, suspended on chains and often with the addition of small bells. The bowl contains hot coals, and the incense is placed on top of these.
Censers used in the church, known as a [[Wikipedia:thurible|thurible]] in the [[Western Rite]], are used during offices or services, such as [[Vespers]], [[Orthros]], and the [[Divine Liturgy]]. ''Censing'' is the practice of swinging a censer suspended from chains towards something or someone, typically an icon or person, so that smoke from the burning incense travels in that direction. If a [[deacon]] is present, he typically does much of the censing, otherwise the job falls to duty is undertaken by the [[priest]]. Unordained servers or acolytes are permitted to prepare and carry the censer, but may not swing it during prayers.
When the temple (church building) is censed, the priest or deacon will move in a sunwise (clockwise) direction, moving to his right as he censes in order the [[Sanctuary#Altar_table|Holy Table]] (altar), [[sanctuary]], [[Iconostasis]], walls of the temple, [[clergy]] and faithful. There are two types of censing: a Greater Censing (which encompasses the entire temple and all of the people therein), and a Lesser Censing (which, depending upon the liturgical context, consists of censing only a portion of the temple and the people). During some censings, especially the Greater Censing, the clergyman who is performing the censing will often carry a candle in his left hand. During [[Bright Week]] (the week which begins on [[Pascha|Easter Sunday]]) the [[priest]] and the [[deacon]] will carry special Paschal [[Candle|candles]] at every censing, even the Lesser Censing. While carrying the Paschal candles, the priest or deacon will greet the members of the congregation with the Paschal greeting while censing them. Simple candles are carried while censing during funerals and memorial services. ===Theological significance===To the Orthodox, burning incense generally represents the prayers of the people faithful rising towards [[Heaven]]as a sweet smelling spiritual fragrance. One commonly sung [[psalm]] during the censing is "Let my prayer rise like incense before You, the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice." Some Orthodox Christians use a standing censer on their home altars. The censer used in the liturgical services of the [[Church]] contains a bowl/recepticle which represents the Church. Some commentators suggest that this represents the Holy [[Theotokos]] because like she contained within her womb the Divine Fire, so too, the censer contains the burning coal of faith.  This dish is supported by four chains each of which carries three bells. The twelve bells represent the voices of the [[Apostles|disciples]] proclaiming the [[Gospel]] based on the teachings of the four [[Evangelist]]s here represented by the chains. The three outer chains attached to the bowl are for the [[Holy Trinity]], and the fourth inner chain attached to the lid is for the Oneness of [[God]].  In addition, the censer used is often gold plated, combining in itself at the offering of incense the three gifts of the Biblical [[Magi]]: gold, frankincense, and [[myrrh]].  ==Notes==<references group="note" /> ==Source=='''Wikipedia'''*[[w:Censer|Censer]]* [[w:Thurible#Byzantine_Rite_Eastern_Catholic_Churches_and_Orthodox_Churches|Thurible - Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches and Orthodox Churches]]
== Sources ==
* [[Wikipedia:Censer]]
[[Category:Liturgical objects]]

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