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a container for burning incense, esp one swung at religious ceremonies

Censer ; Thurible

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

As its name implies, the censer holds incense and dispenses smoke during rituals. The ecclesiastical name for it is thurible. It is equated with the element of Air. Frequently the censer is hung on the end of a chains, or chains, so that it might be swung to promote the burning of the charcoal on which the incense rests. It is usually a metal vessel, perforated with holes, into which glowing charcoal is placed and incense is sprinkled onto the charcoal.

Ancient Egyptian censers were small bowls with a handle. Those used by the Greeks and the Romans were more like braziers. They were not swung, being much heavier than today's censers and were often made of bronze or iron. Early Jewish censers were like the Egyptian ones, and were shaped like ladles.

In Wicca the censing of the Circle is part of its consecration at the start of every coven ritual. Each person in the circle is similarly censed, as a cleansing. Any object—amulet, talisman, working tool—is censed when consecrated.

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, as noted above, the story of Nadab and Abihu is thought to reflect a controversy between priests competing to make incense offerings on censers in the sanctuary's most holy place.
Then again, incense dominates as the priests swing the censers along the marble altar, the altar where clergy face the tabernacle, their backs to the people.
Both the literal pattern emitted from the censers and the figurative style of the delirious decor merge to fashion the hero for "wilder visions of that land of real dreams.
Sahagun's Nahuatl informant gave this account of a considerably less bloody blessing ceremony: "They would offer incense day and night at certain hours, spreading the incense with the clay censers that had a cavity with stones inside for rattling.
That metaphor will be explicitly adopted by the chorus, which, having purified the place with censers, celebrates the expulsion of the false lovers.
In Christian ritual, smoke from censers traditionally symbolized prayers ascending to heaven.
We're not naked," the vixen insists of the steamy sequence, which site says still required five cuts before Motion Picture Association of America censers gave It an R rating, Changed from an initial NC-17 (Mercy may get a theatrical rim down the line).
Priests swinging censers of incense chanted a burial service before the coffin was lowered into the ground.
The German metal-worker Theophilus, writing in the twelfth century, described the making of chalices, patens, cruets, censers and other sacramental objects.
From the Catholic priest swinging incense-filled censors censers down the aisles of a church in Rome, to the billows of incense smoke that cloud and curl around the Buddha icons in a Buddhist temple in Thailand, to copal burning in a tribal ceremony in the rainforest -- we have been using incense to connect to divinity in almost every culture and class of society for as long as we can look back in time.
Oriental lots include a Japanese Meiji period bronze eagle at up to PS5,000 and a pair of 19 Century Chinese censers in the form of a male and female Dog of Fo at up to PS3,000.
Mark's Cathedral in Cairo as deacons chanted somber hymns and bearded, black-clad priests and monks recited prayers as incense smoke flowed from their censers.