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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 ?
Particularly sought after were the religious figures--the Buddhas and Guanyins, or Bodhisattvas of Compassion, particularly worshipped in Fujian--and devotional objects such as incense burners, candlesticks, flower vases, and libation cups.
The most ancient Taoist oratories (Ching Shi or Pure Chamber or Calm Room) are described as empty except for the incense burner (Needham 1972).
CUTLINE: (1) Exhibit curator Virginia Raguin stands behind a glass case containing one item from each religion represented in the show: A Bodhisattva of Wisdom, from the Ming Dynasty; a Christian incense burner made in Genoa during the early part of the 17th century; and a ceramic tile from 13th-century Iran.
The third was attacked as he was being taught how to swing an incense burner.
Some, like the bronzed bat incense burner ($750), were modeled after similar 19th-century baroque masterpieces.
Grandmother's picture in a golden frame and an incense burner, led the procession.
Harvard University anthropologist Alfred Tozzer researched native religion in Lacandon country one hundred years ago and was one of the few outsiders to attend an incense burner renewal ceremony.
A six-year-old boy needed hospital treatment after he and his family escaped from a fire started by an incense burner.
3) Cardinal Roger Mahony swings a censer, an incense burner, in a blessing at the altar in Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on Christmas Day.
In each corner are female representations of the four continents: the elegant figure of Europa supports a cornucopia alongside instruments of the arts and science, cultural symbols and a battle scene; Asia also sports a battle scene, but is dominated by a female figure atop a rhinoceros holding a sprig of herbs in one hand and an incense burner in the other, a casket of baubles at her feet.
The lot, an intricately carved Chinese jade incense burner small enough to hold in two hands, was snapped up for $736,000 by a telephone bidder.
Muscat: A hoard of silver coins dating back to the early Islamic period and an incense burner from the seventh century were loaned to the new Louvre Abu Dhabi museum by Oman's National Museum.