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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: November 29, 2010, 11:57:40 AM »

a recent thread made me wonder, how do you use a hand-censer?  if you just cense your icons, isn't that an extreme waste of a charcoal?!  when you "cense" things, do you hold the hand-censer steady, or do you shake it around?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 12:00:14 PM by trevor72694 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 01:24:11 PM »

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 01:27:23 PM »

I rarely use incense at home, but when I do cense my icon of Christ I trace the cross over it three times. No "shaking" required, just tracing.
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 03:24:24 PM »

When I use a hand censer I simply make the sign of the cross in front of the icon.  As a deacon I've seen directives for when a deacon censes in church, that it should form a cross.

Here's what I found at Holy Trinity Cathedral (SF):  I. How to swing the censer. The directions for censing found in the Typikon were written when the censers were made differently from our present-day censers. They did not have chains. The censer consisted of a receptacle with a handle on it. The Typikon prescribes that censing be done this way: "(the celebrant) makes the (sign of the) cross with the censer." And "thereupon he censes the entire right choir brethren, doubly, raising the censer before each one vertically and then across, making the cross." Some accommodations to the modern form of the censer are now customarily made, but the basic prescription is, and must be, of course, maintained; that is, the censer's movements should depict the cross. For example, some deacons and priests have been trained to make one swing (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, followed by an horizontal swing in an arc bisecting the line of the first swing, at a point somewhat below the highest extreme reached by the first swing. Thus, the first swing represents the vertical beam of a cross, and the second represents the horizontal beam of a cross. Others, and this is now the most common style of swinging the censer, make three swings with the censer toward the person or object being censed: The first swing is exactly the same as the first swing in the first method, above. The extreme point of the upward swing in this first swing is considered to be the top of a sign of the cross, that is, the top of the vertical beam of the Cross. Next, the censer is again swung once (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, but a little to the left (from the aspect of the person censing) and to a point not so far as the extreme of the first swing. That point represents the tip of an arm of a cross, that is of the horizontal shoulder-height beam of the Cross. Next, the censer is again swung once (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, but a little to the right (from the aspect of the person censing) and to a point not so far as the extreme point of the first swing. This point represents the tip of the another arm of the cross, that is the other end of the horizontal shoulder-height beam of the Cross. This is also called "censing three times" toward a person or object. Some following the first method of censing now repeat the first swing before crossing it, possibly so as not to distract any faithful who are acquainted with such rubrics. Nothing, of course, prohibits the clergy from educating the faithful in this and anything else connected with the Church.

 http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit9.html       

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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 03:55:11 PM »

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 04:31:44 PM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?

Not to disrespect your parents, but that seems a bit silly.  Why won't your mom let you use incense in the house? It is for prayer for Christ's sake (literally) I do not understand!  Have you explained it to her?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 05:16:33 PM »

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?
My prayer shelf as I would call it, I guess, sits right under my icons. My bible and prayer books sit right beside the censer, so in a way, I am censing everything while I pray.
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 05:27:04 PM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?

Not to disrespect your parents, but that seems a bit silly.  Why won't your mom let you use incense in the house? It is for prayer for Christ's sake (literally) I do not understand!  Have you explained it to her?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
No, dear friend, Trevor's mother's request is not the least bit silly. She is not Orthodox and no amount of explanation will be sufficient. It is her house, after all, and she may simply not want the scent in the house. Some people (even Orthodox) have a difficult time with any sort of strong odours, even pleasant ones.

Trevor, I'm sorry that I am not qualified to answer your question. My non-Orthodox wife, like your mother, does not want incense in the house. I choose my battles carefully. I can sometimes get away with a scented candle. Maybe that would work for you, too. Not quite the same, of course, but at least it's something.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 06:38:39 PM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?

Not to disrespect your parents, but that seems a bit silly.  Why won't your mom let you use incense in the house? It is for prayer for Christ's sake (literally) I do not understand!  Have you explained it to her?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
No, dear friend, Trevor's mother's request is not the least bit silly. She is not Orthodox and no amount of explanation will be sufficient. It is her house, after all, and she may simply not want the scent in the house. Some people (even Orthodox) have a difficult time with any sort of strong odours, even pleasant ones.

Trevor, I'm sorry that I am not qualified to answer your question. My non-Orthodox wife, like your mother, does not want incense in the house. I choose my battles carefully. I can sometimes get away with a scented candle. Maybe that would work for you, too. Not quite the same, of course, but at least it's something.

actually, it's not a religious reason.  she has VERY bad allergies, and too much incense will......make her sick.  of course, if I explained that I did want it for prayer, a "Church-ey reason" as she says, this may be a different story. 
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 06:43:46 PM »

When I use a hand censer I simply make the sign of the cross in front of the icon.  As a deacon I've seen directives for when a deacon censes in church, that it should form a cross.

Here's what I found at Holy Trinity Cathedral (SF):  I. How to swing the censer. The directions for censing found in the Typikon were written when the censers were made differently from our present-day censers. They did not have chains. The censer consisted of a receptacle with a handle on it. The Typikon prescribes that censing be done this way: "(the celebrant) makes the (sign of the) cross with the censer." And "thereupon he censes the entire right choir brethren, doubly, raising the censer before each one vertically and then across, making the cross." Some accommodations to the modern form of the censer are now customarily made, but the basic prescription is, and must be, of course, maintained; that is, the censer's movements should depict the cross. For example, some deacons and priests have been trained to make one swing (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, followed by an horizontal swing in an arc bisecting the line of the first swing, at a point somewhat below the highest extreme reached by the first swing. Thus, the first swing represents the vertical beam of a cross, and the second represents the horizontal beam of a cross. Others, and this is now the most common style of swinging the censer, make three swings with the censer toward the person or object being censed: The first swing is exactly the same as the first swing in the first method, above. The extreme point of the upward swing in this first swing is considered to be the top of a sign of the cross, that is, the top of the vertical beam of the Cross. Next, the censer is again swung once (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, but a little to the left (from the aspect of the person censing) and to a point not so far as the extreme of the first swing. That point represents the tip of an arm of a cross, that is of the horizontal shoulder-height beam of the Cross. Next, the censer is again swung once (up and down) toward the person or object being censed, but a little to the right (from the aspect of the person censing) and to a point not so far as the extreme point of the first swing. This point represents the tip of the another arm of the cross, that is the other end of the horizontal shoulder-height beam of the Cross. This is also called "censing three times" toward a person or object. Some following the first method of censing now repeat the first swing before crossing it, possibly so as not to distract any faithful who are acquainted with such rubrics. Nothing, of course, prohibits the clergy from educating the faithful in this and anything else connected with the Church.

 http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit9.html       

fixed spacing issue
Bless, Father!  I really appreciate this info, very interesting!  so, you do it kindof like in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfRUunOpc4
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 08:16:43 PM »

Thank you, I was wondering about this as well.   Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2010, 09:02:29 PM »

Here is some information for using hand censers in the context of reader's services, but it translates to home prayer:

Only a hand censer should be used – not a priest’s censer – even if a deacon is doing the censing. 
 
When censing, the censer is held in the right hand, and the sign of the cross is made with the censer over whatever he is censing.  Then the censer is placed in the left hand, and he makes the sign of the cross and bows… unless he is censing the people, in which case he makes the sign of the cross with the censer only, and then bows to the people without signing himself.
 
Censing always begins and ends with the Cross and the Gospel.  If in a Church, the Royal Doors are never opened, nor are the curtains.  The inside of the altar is never censed.  If there is an iconostasis to cense, cense the Royal doors first, then the icons to the right, then the icons to the left.
 
When doing a full censing, the order of censing is: the Cross and the Gospel, the main icons (or the Iconostasis if there is one),  the people, the other walls of the room, the main icons again, and then the Cross and the Gospel.
 
When a lesser censing is done, the order of censing is: The Cross and the Gospel, the main icons, the people, the main icons again, then the Cross and the Gospel.
 
Generally, you can cense whenever a censing would normally be done if a priest were serving.  At a vigil, you would do a full censing at the beginning of Vespers, at “Lord I have cried…”, at the Polyeleos (or the Evlogitaria), and at the 9th Ode of the canon.  You do not cense after the Dogmaticon at “Lord I have cried…” because that censing is for an entrance, and entrances are not done at reader services.   A Full censing is also done at the 6th hour and a lesser censing is done during the Epistle (or during the Alleluias) at Typika.


http://www.saintjonah.org/services/howtodo.htm
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2010, 12:30:40 AM »

Bless, Father!  I really appreciate this info, very interesting!  so, you do it kindof like in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfRUunOpc4
Thanks for this great video. A great example of why censers should be made of silver with silver bells.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 07:13:25 AM »

Here is some information for using hand censers in the context of reader's services, but it translates to home prayer:

Only a hand censer should be used – not a priest’s censer – even if a deacon is doing the censing. 
 
When censing, the censer is held in the right hand, and the sign of the cross is made with the censer over whatever he is censing.  Then the censer is placed in the left hand, and he makes the sign of the cross and bows… unless he is censing the people, in which case he makes the sign of the cross with the censer only, and then bows to the people without signing himself.
 
Censing always begins and ends with the Cross and the Gospel.  If in a Church, the Royal Doors are never opened, nor are the curtains.  The inside of the altar is never censed.  If there is an iconostasis to cense, cense the Royal doors first, then the icons to the right, then the icons to the left.
 
When doing a full censing, the order of censing is: the Cross and the Gospel, the main icons (or the Iconostasis if there is one),  the people, the other walls of the room, the main icons again, and then the Cross and the Gospel.
 
When a lesser censing is done, the order of censing is: The Cross and the Gospel, the main icons, the people, the main icons again, then the Cross and the Gospel.
 
Generally, you can cense whenever a censing would normally be done if a priest were serving.  At a vigil, you would do a full censing at the beginning of Vespers, at “Lord I have cried…”, at the Polyeleos (or the Evlogitaria), and at the 9th Ode of the canon.  You do not cense after the Dogmaticon at “Lord I have cried…” because that censing is for an entrance, and entrances are not done at reader services.   A Full censing is also done at the 6th hour and a lesser censing is done during the Epistle (or during the Alleluias) at Typika.


http://www.saintjonah.org/services/howtodo.htm

Any advice on censing when doing Typika?  Our parish has no residential priest so in between, we have Typika every Sunday.  Thanks
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 10:24:46 AM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?

Not to disrespect your parents, but that seems a bit silly.  Why won't your mom let you use incense in the house? It is for prayer for Christ's sake (literally) I do not understand!  Have you explained it to her?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
No, dear friend, Trevor's mother's request is not the least bit silly. She is not Orthodox and no amount of explanation will be sufficient. It is her house, after all, and she may simply not want the scent in the house. Some people (even Orthodox) have a difficult time with any sort of strong odours, even pleasant ones.

Trevor, I'm sorry that I am not qualified to answer your question. My non-Orthodox wife, like your mother, does not want incense in the house. I choose my battles carefully. I can sometimes get away with a scented candle. Maybe that would work for you, too. Not quite the same, of course, but at least it's something.

actually, it's not a religious reason.  she has VERY bad allergies, and too much incense will......make her sick.  of course, if I explained that I did want it for prayer, a "Church-ey reason" as she says, this may be a different story. 

I think that you know the answer to your dilemma regarding your mom and her allergies. Frankly, she seems very understanding regarding your own religious choice. By respecting her medical needs and respecting her parental authority, you will be an icon of the faith in your own way and perhaps, by being so, your faith may someday lead your mom to the light.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 11:18:22 AM »

Greetings in that divine and most precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have a shelf in my prayer corner, so I just light the coal place the incense on the coal and begin to pray. I very rarely cense the icons. Some may say that this is improper, although I doubt it. I have used the hand censer to cense the icons though. I just gently shake it in front of the icons because if you are not careful a coal will fall out. Because as you know, the hand censer is not meant to be shaken like the ones at Church. I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule anywhere on the use of hand censers. Hope this helps! God Bless!
this helps alot!  although my mom won't let me have incense in the house, I intend to one day begin this practice.  do you cense the entire house, or just your prayer corner?  do you cense your Bible and prayerbooks?

Not to disrespect your parents, but that seems a bit silly.  Why won't your mom let you use incense in the house? It is for prayer for Christ's sake (literally) I do not understand!  Have you explained it to her?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
No, dear friend, Trevor's mother's request is not the least bit silly. She is not Orthodox and no amount of explanation will be sufficient. It is her house, after all, and she may simply not want the scent in the house. Some people (even Orthodox) have a difficult time with any sort of strong odours, even pleasant ones.

Trevor, I'm sorry that I am not qualified to answer your question. My non-Orthodox wife, like your mother, does not want incense in the house. I choose my battles carefully. I can sometimes get away with a scented candle. Maybe that would work for you, too. Not quite the same, of course, but at least it's something.

actually, it's not a religious reason.  she has VERY bad allergies, and too much incense will......make her sick.  of course, if I explained that I did want it for prayer, a "Church-ey reason" as she says, this may be a different story. 

I think that you know the answer to your dilemma regarding your mom and her allergies. Frankly, she seems very understanding regarding your own religious choice. By respecting her medical needs and respecting her parental authority, you will be an icon of the faith in your own way and perhaps, by being so, your faith may someday lead your mom to the light.
thanks, I really appreciate that.  when I say that I'd like to light incense someday, I mean when I have my own residence, away from my mother.
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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 12:17:25 AM »

I have two more questions on this topic, so I'll post them here (rather than starting another thread).

1.  I've descided to get a hand censer.  I'll only use a tiny but of incense, and therefor will only need a bit of charcoal.  can the charcoal be cut into 4 pieces?

2.  I know hand censers get very hot after a while.  I don't want it to burn into m dresser or something.  what would be a good make-shift coaster?  a small, old book or magazine?  a bit of wood?

thanks, everyone!
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2010, 12:52:42 AM »

2.  I know hand censers get very hot after a while.  I don't want it to burn into m dresser or something.  what would be a good make-shift coaster?  a small, old book or magazine?  a bit of wood?
If it has potential to leave a burn mark on wood, it has the potential to ignite paper products.

If you're just looking for something makeshift, a small saucer could work.
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 02:09:54 AM »

I have two more questions on this topic, so I'll post them here (rather than starting another thread).

1.  I've descided to get a hand censer.  I'll only use a tiny but of incense, and therefor will only need a bit of charcoal.  can the charcoal be cut into 4 pieces?

2.  I know hand censers get very hot after a while.  I don't want it to burn into m dresser or something.  what would be a good make-shift coaster?  a small, old book or magazine?  a bit of wood?

thanks, everyone!
An ashtray works. No one smokes inside our house, since such is forbidden by house rule, but we still have a porcelain ashtray that someone picked up from somewhere. They're used specifically to hold the red hot cherries of lit cigarettes, so I'm sure they can handle the bottom of a hot censer or even the ember of a burning charcoal that may jump out of your censer from time to time. (I just wouldn't recommend one of those ashtrays with a bean bag base that I've seen in some homes. They're too unstable for anything heavier than a few cigarette/cigar butts.)
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 04:55:59 PM »

I have two more questions on this topic, so I'll post them here (rather than starting another thread).

1.  I've descided to get a hand censer.  I'll only use a tiny but of incense, and therefor will only need a bit of charcoal.  can the charcoal be cut into 4 pieces?

2.  I know hand censers get very hot after a while.  I don't want it to burn into m dresser or something.  what would be a good make-shift coaster?  a small, old book or magazine?  a bit of wood?

thanks, everyone!
An ashtray works. No one smokes inside our house, since such is forbidden by house rule, but we still have a porcelain ashtray that someone picked up from somewhere. They're used specifically to hold the red hot cherries of lit cigarettes, so I'm sure they can handle the bottom of a hot censer or even the ember of a burning charcoal that may jump out of your censer from time to time. (I just wouldn't recommend one of those ashtrays with a bean bag base that I've seen in some homes. They're too unstable for anything heavier than a few cigarette/cigar butts.)
thanks, everyone.  my mom actually gave me a large large water catchers you put under a potted plant.  it's think, and made of glass.  it will work well.   Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 12:21:14 PM »

also, where would be the safest place to light a coal?  what would be the safest tool to hold it with?

I was thinking of lighting it over the bathroom sink.  that way, if I drop it and something should happen, I can just turn on the fauscet anf extinguish the coal. 
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 01:00:54 PM »

also, where would be the safest place to light a coal?  what would be the safest tool to hold it with?

I was thinking of lighting it over the bathroom sink.  that way, if I drop it and something should happen, I can just turn on the fauscet anf extinguish the coal. 
I light charcoal over the sink, and I use a pair of pliers to hold the charcoal as I'm lighting it.
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 01:02:42 PM »

also, where would be the safest place to light a coal?  what would be the safest tool to hold it with?

I was thinking of lighting it over the bathroom sink.  that way, if I drop it and something should happen, I can just turn on the fauscet anf extinguish the coal. 
I light charcoal over the sink, and I use a pair of pliers to hold the charcoal as I'm lighting it.
good thinking!  I never thought of that.  also, can I grind up the incense, and only use a tiny bit when I use it?  (in respect of my mother's allergies)
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 01:28:31 PM »

also, where would be the safest place to light a coal?  what would be the safest tool to hold it with?

I was thinking of lighting it over the bathroom sink.  that way, if I drop it and something should happen, I can just turn on the fauscet anf extinguish the coal. 
I light charcoal over the sink, and I use a pair of pliers to hold the charcoal as I'm lighting it.
good thinking!  I never thought of that.  also, can I grind up the incense, and only use a tiny bit when I use it?  (in respect of my mother's allergies)
Never thought to try that before. Maybe someone else who has thought of that can comment.
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2010, 01:43:31 PM »

Sorry for the OT but an interesting video: I see HE Athanassios of Limassol (Cyprus), HE Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and fr. George Metallinos, my prof in university (now emeritus). Do you happen to know on what occassion did the gathering take place? Thanks. Christ is born!
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2010, 01:45:58 PM »

Sorry for the OT but an interesting video: I see HE Athanassios of Limassol (Cyprus), HE Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and fr. George Metallinos, my prof in university (now emeritus). Do you happen to know on what occassion did the gathering take place? Thanks. Christ is born!
I don't, sorry!  perhapse, if you have an account on youtube, you could send the poster of this video a message.
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2010, 01:53:18 PM »

Sorry for the OT but an interesting video: I see HE Athanassios of Limassol (Cyprus), HE Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and fr. George Metallinos, my prof in university (now emeritus). Do you happen to know on what occassion did the gathering take place? Thanks. Christ is born!
If you know it's off topic, why don't you just start a new thread for it? Why do you have to derail this one?
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« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2010, 03:36:50 PM »

Thank you, all! This thread has been a great help for me!
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« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2011, 02:37:25 AM »

When I was at university in Wales I bought a thurible with a very short chain from a new-age shop. It is solid brass and has a beautiful cross on the top (not sure what it was doing among the pentagrams and dragons but hey-ho!)

Supposing I got it blessed, would it be acceptable for domestic use or are hand-censors the only option? I used to have a hand censor but it too was solid brass and would get very very hot. In the end I placed it on a cork mat which was supported by three discreet but substantial blobs of blu-tack, even with all that insulation the blu-tack would still melt to the shelf Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2011, 02:50:52 AM »

Only ordained deacons, presbyters and bishops can swing censors. The deacons have to be serving with a priest in order to be able; they cannot simply do it on their own. So I would say that a hand censor would be the only appropriate option. But you should keep in mind that you can light a coal and burn incense in whatever works, so it could be something much simpler like pottery or brass or something. No need to get too flashy when you're alone at home!
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« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2011, 08:48:47 AM »

Trevor,

The base that your Mom provided sounds perfect for the purpose and I think your choice as to lighting the charcoal over the sink is very sensible.

Using ground charcoal will work, although it may require a bit of practice - see here - scroll down to 'Usage for Ground Coal'. Leaving an ash base, as you see there, helps, but I would not retain as much as is shown in the photo, as you want to minimize the risk of overflowing the censer bowl and making a mess (or worse, if there are hot ashes remaining in the base).

A couple of cautions, they seem very basic, but the obvious isn't always:

(1) Be certain to never leave the censer burning when you are out of the house or even if you intend to be out of the room for a prolonged period;
(2) Always dispose of the used ash as if it contained hot coals, as it well may. (An empty one of those 5 pound popcorn tins - kept outside, away from the house, and with its lid on - works great for this purpose, just as metal 'ashcans' - what we now call garbage cans - did back in the day when coal was the principal heating fuel.)

Many years,

Neil

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