- Parent Category: Orthodox Terminology
- Category: Glossary I
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INCENSE - An aromatic resin substance which upon being burnt in the censer gives off a sweet smelling smoke used in the services. It symbolizes the rising of prayer to God and the zeal of the Christian.
It is the sap of the frankincense tree, or other aromatic substances, dried and burned in honor of God. The offering of incense has been associated with the worship of God since God commanded Moses to burn incense to Him in the tabernacle. The prophet Malachi (1:11) predicts, "among the Gentiles [the Church] . . . incense shall be offered . . ." The Magi offered frankincense to the infant Christ. Incense manifests the prayers of the saints as they ascend to heaven. It is found in every revelation of the worship of God in heaven. (Ex. 30:1-8; Matt. 2:9-11; Rev. 5:8.)