I just have a question about who censes and who offers incense during the Liturgy.
I've recently been told that EO commonly allow Readers and/or altar boys to cense during the Liturgy. Is this true? Do they offer the incense (put the incense into the censor), or cense after the priest has done that?
At what points and in what ways do the priest, deacon, or altar servers cense during the Liturgy?
Historically, would it have been limited to the priest and deacon?
Normally the deacon censes. However, in some Eastern Orthodox traditions like the Antiochian, the priest censes before the Great Entrance. I may be wrong, but I believe that the deacon censes before the Great Entrance in the Russian tradition. The priest also censes the consecrated gifts when he chants, "Especially..." after the Epiklesis and after they are placed on the Holy Table after Communion.
However, in Antiochian tradition, an altar server walks backward censing the gifts as they are carried to the Altar during the Great Entrance.
Fr. John W. Morris