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Question 273

Good day pater....I've found my mum's gabnistiri (censer).....what should I get to burn in it? And what is a good prayer to say for my family?

 

Answer to Question 273

 

There are small charcoals that we light and place in the Kapnistiri. In Cyprus they sell them at all supermarkets but I don't know where you can obtain them in England - probably from Church stores and I'm sure you can find them online. Once we have lit the charcoal we place on it a piece of incense which again you should be able to find from church stores or in the Cypriot tradition we place dried olive leaves that have previously been blessed in Church. I don't think they sell these in any church so if you don't have any your best bet is to put out a request within the group if anyone can give you some. Most Cypriots have a good supply. With your right hand make the sign of the cross over it saying in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

In church when a priest blesses the incense he says 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.” I cannot see why it cannot be said by a layperson as well. If fact it will help to understand why we offer incense to God. As the smoke rises to heaven we ask God to receive it and accept it as our prayer rising up before him. Having then accepted our prayer we ask him to send down upon us the grace of the Holy Spirit.