Orthodox religious thought lays the utmost emphasis on the image of God in the human person. Because one is an icon of God, each member of the human race, even the most sinful, is infinitely precious in God’s sight.
This respect for every human being is visibly expressed in Orthodox worship, when the priest or deacon incenses not only the icons but the members of the congregation, saluting the image of God in each person.
Based on Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia
A deacon incensing in the Chapel of St. Demetrius at Vatopaidi