Yandex Metrika
The Meaning of Incense and its Significance in the Church service

How Can I Explain to Non-believers the Meaning of Incense?


Question: Greetings! I read on a forum that incense is used in church services to "induce religious trance, suppress will, and logical thinking." How can I explain to non-believers the meaning of incense and its significance in the Church service?

Answer: The world constantly tries to deceive people and prevent them from entering the Church and finding God, so it seeks explanations within the human psyche.

Incense is a fragrant substance used by clergy during services; it is sacred. I remember Metropolitan Filaret always used to say, "The grace of the Holy Spirit," while censing. The censer used for incense is blessed. All this has spiritual significance. Incense symbolises our offering to God; it raises a person above all earthly, temporal, and perishable things. Censing is part of the service to the Lord, to Whom we offer our best.

The idea that incense intoxicates a person can only come from someone who does not know God. Frankincense symbolises the Holy Spirit; icons and people are incensed as images and likenesses of God. The fragrance of incense represents the spiritual grace that purifies and uplifts a person, helping them to reject sin. Sin is always foul, always opposed to incense and fragrance; it is always bitterness. Therefore, when a person lives purely and pleases God, there is a sense of inner fragrance in their purity and beauty.

There is light, there is darkness. There is incense, and there is foulness. And incense is the sacred substance we use, offering it as a sacrifice to God.

April 09, 2024
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