Why we use incense?

Numbers 16:46-50: “And Moses said to Aaron, Take your censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them. Here offering of the incense is to get rid off the plague. It also removes the foul smell of sin”.

Revelations 8:3,4: “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke from the incense and the prayers of the saints went up from the angel’s hand to God.”

Everybody and everything is being censed during the service to emphasize the essential unity of those in heaven and on earth, as well as our participation in heavenly things during services. That is why we do not just have a liturgy but Divine Liturgy where people are united with Christ, through Christ and in Christ our God!

Therefore, we use incense and censer for our own spiritual awakening, and for making our experience of worship more complete.

In this photo is depicted a katsio (a kind of censer) used by monks in the Holy Mountain.