Author Topic: Incense at Liturgy  (Read 907 times)

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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Incense at Liturgy
« on: October 14, 2013, 04:36:55 PM »
I hope this isn't a boneheaded question, but it never occurred to me to ask before:

What kind of incense do Orthodox churches use in the Liturgy?
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 04:39:23 PM »
I hope this isn't a boneheaded question, but it never occurred to me to ask before:

What kind of incense do Orthodox churches use in the Liturgy?

It varies considerably, though it's almost always very sweet, though I think Russians have a tradition of using rougher resin during Lent.

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 04:57:48 PM »

It varies considerably, though it's almost always very sweet, though I think Russians have a tradition of using rougher resin during Lent.



I guess, logically, my next question would be whether there is a specific set of standards and/or requirements the Orthodox Church applies in determining what kinds of incense are acceptable for use in the Liturgy.  Something tells me they don't just go to the mall and pick up a bag of patchouli.  lol.  Does the Orthodox Church consider some kinds of incense acceptable and others not acceptable?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:58:16 PM by newtoorthodoxy »
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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 05:19:54 PM »
I guess, logically, my next question would be whether there is a specific set of standards and/or requirements the Orthodox Church applies in determining what kinds of incense are acceptable for use in the Liturgy.  Something tells me they don't just go to the mall and pick up a bag of patchouli.  lol.  Does the Orthodox Church consider some kinds of incense acceptable and others not acceptable?

Church incense is frankincense tears, either plain or infused with essential oils in complementary fragrances. Myrrh (obviously), rose, lily and spikenard are popular. Some monasteries develop secret signature recipes. Cenacle, paradoxically, carries some of my favourites.
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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 05:30:08 PM »


Church incense is frankincense tears, either plain or infused with essential oils in complementary fragrances. Myrrh (obviously), rose, lily and spikenard are popular. Some monasteries develop secret signature recipes. Cenacle, paradoxically, carries some of my favourites.

And then I googled 'frankincense tears' and found this information:  http://www.ehow.com/how_7402912_use-frankincense-tears.html

Perhaps this is why incense at Liturgy (both Orthodox and at the Catholic churches I used to attend) is very soothing to me, while regular 'hippie' incense (rofl) gives me a raging headache that takes three days or more for me to get rid of.

Thank you so much for the info!
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Offline ilyazhito

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 05:31:11 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work. Incense is usually made at monasteries, such as Mt. Athos, Holy Cross in Wayne, and others.

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 05:38:00 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work. Incense is usually made at monasteries, such as Mt. Athos, Holy Cross in Wayne, and others.

What is PITA an acronym for?
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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 05:44:01 PM »
Pain
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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 05:47:33 PM »
Pain
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Ah.  lol.  Sorry about that.
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 05:51:21 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.





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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 05:52:05 PM »
Pain
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Ah.  lol.  Sorry about that.

Nope, not "Ah".  "H" definitely doesn't fill in the blank accurately.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 05:52:25 PM by Mor Ephrem »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 05:53:39 PM »
back home, in somewhat older days-like up to the nineties or so, regular pine or fir tree resin was commonplace. now imported stuff is more available.

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 05:56:06 PM »
Pain
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Ah.  lol.  Sorry about that.


Nope, not "Ah".  "H" definitely doesn't fill in the blank accurately.  ;)


rofl
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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 05:57:00 PM »
back home, in somewhat older days-like up to the nineties or so, regular pine or fir tree resin was commonplace. now imported stuff is more available.

I'm very sensitive to pine, so it's a safe bet that stuff would have given me the 3-day headache I've come to know and dread.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 06:05:03 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?
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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2013, 06:32:28 PM »

Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?


I would assume that's some sort of packaging process to keep the pellets from sticking together in clumps? 
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2013, 07:07:11 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?




Talcum powder.  The monastery where I buy it seems to add way too much with the incense.


« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 07:21:55 PM by IXOYE »

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2013, 07:26:22 PM »

Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?


I would assume that's some sort of packaging process to keep the pellets from sticking together in clumps? 
 

It is.  Sometimes, depending on the place making the incense, too much talcum powder is added.


Offline hecma925

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2013, 08:47:57 AM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?




Talcum powder.  The monastery where I buy it seems to add way too much with the incense.




Well, without it, it would be a sticky mess.  :)
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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2013, 08:54:58 AM »
Church incense is frankincense tears, either plain or infused with essential oils in complementary fragrances. Myrrh (obviously), rose, lily and spikenard are popular. Some monasteries develop secret signature recipes. Cenacle, paradoxically, carries some of my favourites.

And then I googled 'frankincense tears' and found this information:  http://www.ehow.com/how_7402912_use-frankincense-tears.html

Note: Don't try either the mortar and pestle or the coffee grinder thing at home, unless you have frozen the tears and you just blitz them for two seconds. Friction warms the resin and you will end up with a sticky mess (not to mention doing in the grinder blades).
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Offline monkvasyl

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2013, 10:06:28 AM »

Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?


I would assume that's some sort of packaging process to keep the pellets from sticking together in clumps? 
 

It is.  Sometimes, depending on the place making the incense, too much talcum powder is added.



I knew of one monastery that used clay instead of talcum.  When I made my own incense, I used ground frankincense in place of talcum or clay.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2013, 10:08:12 AM »
Yeah, the clay (not really sure what kind) helps keep it from being sticky as the incense cures.  I think some incense makers use talcum because it's more readily available.
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2013, 03:45:33 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?




Talcum powder.  The monastery where I buy it seems to add way too much with the incense.



Well, without it, it would be a sticky mess.  :)

I throw out half of the powder and it is fine.  There just is an over-abundance of it.  It is messy opening the box of incense.


Offline hecma925

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2013, 12:30:37 AM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?


Talcum powder.  The monastery where I buy it seems to add way too much with the incense.
Well, without it, it would be a sticky mess.  :)

I throw out half of the powder and it is fine.  There just is an over-abundance of it.  It is messy opening the box of incense.

What monastery makes the one you use?
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2013, 01:01:20 PM »
Liturgical incense is sold as pellets. Sometimes the incense is very dusty, which is a PITA to use, because the dust must be cleaned out before the incense is put into the censer, which is additional work.
 


So true about the dust.






Are you talking about the charcoal ash or the talcum powder which is sometimes coating the incense?




Talcum powder.  The monastery where I buy it seems to add way too much with the incense.




Well, without it, it would be a sticky mess.  :)

If incense is cured for a long enough period of time, it won't stick together unless it's exposed to a lot of humidity.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Incense at Liturgy
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2013, 01:04:40 PM »
IIRC, the incense made by the monks at Holy Cross Hermitage (Wayne, WV) is cured for a whole month.  I have a couple of packages and I can attest that they are not sticky.
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