A thymiaterion (from Ancient Greek: θυμιατήριον from θυμιάειν thymiaein "to smoke"; plural thymiateria) is a type of censer or incense burner, used in the Mediterranean region since antiquity for spiritual and religious purposes and especially in religious ceremonies.
The term is used not only for the censers of ancient Greece, from where the term comes, but also to describe the censers of other peoples of the ancient world, such as the Phoenicians and Etruscans.
Thymiateria could take a wide variety of forms, ranging from simple earthenware pots to elaborate carved, moulded or cast items made from clay or bronze.
Various types of thymiateria are still used in the Greek Orthodox rituals in churches, homes, cemeteries etc. They are commonly known also as "livanisteria" (from the w. Livanos, incense).
Liturgy is the customary public ritual of worship performed by a religious group. Liturgy can also be used to refer specifically to public worship by Christians. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, supplication, or repentance. It forms a basis for establishing a relationship with God.
Incense is an aromatic biotic material that releases fragrant smoke when burnt. The term is used for either the material or the aroma. Incense is used for aesthetic reasons, religious worship, aromatherapy, meditation, and ceremony. It may also be used as a simple deodorant or insect repellent.
Vespers is a liturgy of evening prayer, one of the canonical hours in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran liturgies. The word for this fixed prayer time comes from the Latin vesper, meaning "evening".
The term Greek Orthodox Church has three meanings. The broader meaning designates "the entire body of Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Christianity, sometimes also called 'Eastern Orthodox,' 'Greek Catholic,' or generally 'the Greek Church'". The narrower meaning designates "any of several independent churches within the worldwide communion of (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity that retain the use of the Greek language in formal ecclesiastical settings". The third is the Church of Greece, the Eastern Orthodox church operating within the modern borders of Greece.
A censer, incense burner, perfume burner or pastille burner is a vessel made for burning incense or perfume in some solid form. They vary greatly in size, form, and material of construction, and have been in use since ancient times throughout the world. They may consist of simple earthenware bowls or fire pots to intricately carved silver or gold vessels, small table top objects a few centimetres tall to as many as several metres high. Many designs use openwork to allow a flow of air. In many cultures, burning incense has spiritual and religious connotations, and this influences the design and decoration of the censer.
An acolyte is an assistant or follower assisting the celebrant in a religious service or procession. In many Christian denominations, an acolyte is anyone performing ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles. In others, the term is used for one who has been inducted into a particular liturgical ministry, even when not performing those duties.
A thurible is a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in Christian churches including the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East and Oriental Orthodox, as well as in some Lutheran, Old Catholic, United Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian Church USA, and Anglican churches. In Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican churches, the altar server who carries the thurible is called the thurifer. The practice is rooted in the earlier traditions of Judaism in the time of the Second Jewish Temple.
A place of worship is a specially designed structure or space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. A building constructed or used for this purpose is sometimes called a house of worship. Temples, churches, mosques, and synagogues are examples of structures created for worship. A monastery may serve both to house those belonging to religious orders and as a place of worship for visitors. Natural or topographical features may also serve as places of worship, and are considered holy or sacrosanct in some religions; the rituals associated with the Ganges river are an example in Hinduism.
The Liturgy of Preparation, also Prothesis or Proskomedia, is the name given in the Eastern Orthodox Church to the act of preparing the bread and wine for the Eucharist.
In Christianity, worship is the act of attributing reverent honour and homage to God. In the New Testament, various words are used to refer to the term worship. One is proskuneo which means to bow down to God or kings.
Panagia, in Medieval and Modern Greek, is one of the titles of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.
A prosphoron is a small loaf of leavened bread used in Orthodox Christian and Greek Catholic (Byzantine) liturgies. The plural form is prosphora (πρόσφορα). The term originally meant any offering made to a temple, but in Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine Rite Catholicism it has come to mean specifically the bread offered at the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist).
The Alexandrian rites are a collection of ritual families and uses of Christian liturgy employed by three Oriental Orthodox churches, and by three Eastern Catholic Churches.
The Epitaphios is a Christian religious icon, typically consisting of a large, embroidered and often richly adorned cloth, bearing an image of the dead body of Christ, often accompanied by his mother and other figures, following the Gospel account. It is used during the liturgical services of Good Friday and Holy Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, as well as some Oriental Orthodox Churches. It also exists in painted or mosaic form, on wall or panel.
Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that 'worship' refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while 'prayer' refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.
Religious use of incense has its origins in antiquity. The burned incense may be intended as a symbolic or sacrificial offering to various deities or spirits, or to serve as an aid in prayer.
The incense offering in Judaism was related to perfumed offerings on the altar of incense in the time of the Tabernacle and the First and Second Temple period, and was an important component of priestly liturgy in the Temple in Jerusalem.
The ancient Egyptian Incense burner: arm is a horizontal hieroglyph representing various types of horizontal tools used to offer, and burn incense. In tomb scenes, it is sometimes depicted with a little cup-shaped box attached for keeping incense on the top surface; the person making the offering is occasionally seen holding an incense grain-pellet with lines of incense, or linked grains-in-a-line, which are equivalent to drifting smoke.
The ancient Egyptian Censer pot, is most commonly seen in Ancient Egyptian iconography as an offering, held in hand by the offering person or god. Many pots are offered in hands, or a single hand with offerings of oils, a liquid-(water), or other item in the pot.
Incense in China is traditionally used in a wide range of Chinese cultural activities including religious ceremonies, ancestor veneration, traditional medicine, and in daily life. Known as xiang, incense was used by the Chinese cultures starting from Neolithic times with it coming to greater prominence starting from the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties.
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