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).
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in the territory of the former Soviet Union, mostly in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the bishop of Rome (Pope), but the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. Historically the Ecumenical Patriarchate was a supranational church in the Orthodox-inhabited territories of the Ottoman Empire, preceding some of today's independent Orthodox churches of the Balkans. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.
Incense is aromatic biotic material that releases fragrant smoke when burned. The term is used for either the material or the aroma. Incense is used for aesthetic reasons, aromatherapy, meditation, and ceremony. It may also be used as a simple deodorant or insect repellent.
Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Byzantine Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.
The name Greek Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the Septuagint and the New Testament. Its history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire. Greek Orthodox Christianity has also traditionally placed strong emphasis on and awarded high prestige to traditions of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and asceticism, with origins in Early Christianity in the Near East and in Byzantine Anatolia.
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, Maronite Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Oriental Orthodox, as well as in some Lutheran, Old Catholic, United Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian Church USA, 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.
The Holy of Holies or HaDvir is a term in the Hebrew Bible which refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle where God's presence appeared. According to Hebrew Tradition, the area was defined by four pillars which held up the veil of the covering, under which the Ark of the Covenant was held above the floor. The Ark according to Hebrew Scripture contained the Ten Commandments, which were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, where the Ark of the Covenant was supposed to be kept.
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.
A Greek festival or Greek Fest is an annual celebration of Greek culture presented by many ethnic Greek American communities and organization in the United States and Canada, particularly Greek Orthodox churches. Typically, these events are intended for attendance by the general public. Attendees can sample Greek music, cuisine, and dance, typically performed in traditional dress. Such events are often fundraisers for Orthodox churches of the Greek Archdiocese. These Greek festivals originate from celebrations in Greece for religious holidays, such as, Greek Orthodox Easter and non-religious holidays, such as, the Festival of Flowers (Protomayia).
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 Botafumeiro is a famous thurible in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. In the past, similar devices were used in large churches in Galicia; one is still used in the Tui Cathedral. Incense is burned in this swinging metal container, or censer.
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 Churches, as well as those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite. 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 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 often shown with an attached small box, or cup region, for holding incense, located on the upper surface; the offering individual is sometimes holding a grain-pellet of incense, with lines of incense, or connected grains-in-a-line equal to wafting 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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