Author Topic: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers  (Read 3873 times)

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Offline Thanatos

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Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« on: December 02, 2006, 01:11:38 AM »
Hey all,

I was wondering if there is a difference between the censers we use in Church and/or in private devotion and so called "hanging incense burners"?

This pagan store online was selling the following "hanging" censers:



And for anyone with an Eastern backing, this store says the following "haning incense burner" is styled in a "tibetan" tradition (although it looks shockingly similiar to our censers):



So I guess my questions are two-fold:

1) By hanging censers, do you suppose they swing them like we do, or literally hang them onto a hook like vigil lamps? If we also call them "hanging" censers, is it alright praxis for an Orthodox, at their home altar, to hang the censer instead of swinging it? (Because I think swingy-censers are frowned upon, when used by laymen)

And

2) For the former Buddhists and Hindus out there: That "Tibetan" censer I posted...it looks like it would be used to burn resin - not incense sticks, which are indigenous to Asian cultures, I believe. I thought resin was purely a Middle Eastern usage - what's going on here? Happy-go-lucky-neo-paganism?  :P

So this is just another one of my funny thoughts! If my questions make no sense at all, forgive.

Peace,
Ioannis

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 01:49:08 AM »
By hanging censers, do you suppose they swing them like we do, or literally hang them onto a hook like vigil lamps?

I would say that these are probably suspended just like vigil lamps.  I have seen many just like them, minus the suspending chain.

Quote
If we also call them "hanging" censers, is it alright praxis for an Orthodox, at their home altar, to hang the censer instead of swinging it? (Because I think swingy-censers are frowned upon, when used by laymen)

 By "home altar", I presume you mean the icon corner where your family gathers for prayer.  Sure, the praxis you mention is just fine.  Why not?  I've also seen people walk around with incense just in a bowl-like censer without a chain on it to spread the incense around.  I've always assumed that one should only swing a censer  around if one is at least a deacon.  I've seen altar servers do it a little bit vigourously here and there in some parishes, particularly subdeacons, but I don't know.  Of course, they didn't do it much at all, just a little bit at the Great Entrance during Divine Liturgy.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 01:52:21 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Thanatos

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2006, 02:00:27 AM »
I would say that these are probably suspended just like vigil lamps.  I have seen many just like them, minus the suspending chain.

In Buddhist temples and the sort?

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 02:04:48 AM »
No, I've seen them sold in religious supply stores and various Asian stores.  I actually use one that is quite similar to one that is pictured (again without a chain) and some of my friends use similar ones for their icon corners at home.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 02:05:30 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Thanatos

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 04:26:21 AM »
If I am correct, do not hanging incense burners exist in Middle Eastern antiquity as well? -- wonder if it originated in Near East and spread with Christian missionaries perhaps, or merchants.

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 04:44:36 AM »
Sometimes the provenance of things like this are well known, othertimes not.  I wonder if the history of the development of different censers is well known or not?
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2006, 02:07:38 AM »
The hand censer is the more ancient of the two used in worship. You will still find it in everyday use in many byzantine monastic communities and of course during holy week.

Incense has been used in worship by every major ancient faith. The pictures you have shown are ones that are meant for hanging and date back to several thousand BC. Before the world had febreeze they had incense.
Joseph

Offline alexp4uni

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Re: Hangy vs. Swingy Censers
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2006, 02:23:23 AM »
I have taken a liking to Rosemary Incense in the house especially when I wake up in my room and see my beautiful Theotokos and Christ-Child Icons hanging. I just bow down to ground first and say my Morning Prayers without looking at the Icon while the Incense is still burning.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 05:30:36 AM by alexp4uni »