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Question 239

Morning when I kabniso I’m confused on what I’m supposed to say


Answer to Question 239


Incense is something we offer to God and is a form of prayer. When a priest offers incense in church, he will say the following prayer 

“We offer incense unto thee, O Christ our God, for a sweetsmelling savour of spiritual fragrance, which do thou accept upon Thy most heavenly altar; and send down upon us the grace of Thy most Holy Spirit.”

The prayer said at the blessing of the incense denotes that God will find our offering of incense pleasing and in return will send down upon us the grace of the Holy Spirit. The sweet smelling aroma of the smoke suggests the spiritual fragrance of the Holy Spirit. The Lord speaking through the Prophet Malachi said: “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering.” (Malachi 1:11) 


Not so long ago it was customary to offer incense as part of the morning prayers. Our grandmothers would prepare the incense, (which in Cyprus was dried olive leaves) by blessing it by making the sign of the cross over it three times saying “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” then they would first step outside and offer the incense to God and then bless the house and its inhabitants. I don’t think our grandmothers said any other prayer when offering incense, but it would not be wrong to adapt the priest’s prayer.