Catholic Encyclopedia: History of the Christian Altar
Creating your own private Sanctuary
Home as Sanctuary
How to build a Prayer Closet
How to create your personal altar
Make your Shrines online
My Home Altar: Resources to people of all faiths or spiritual paths...
Personal Home Sanctuary: Order your own ready made
The Home Altar: Making where you live a Sacred Space.
The Home Shrine
The Why and How of Home Altars by Lutheran Pastor, Walter Snyder.
Why Create a Home Sanctuary
INCENSE IN LITURGY: A PROTESTANT PERSPECTIVE
« In churches and temples, it is the custom to light candles and burn incense. Why is this? Because lighting candles and burning incense symbolizes sacrifice, that is to say the transformation of raw matter into the subtler matter of light and fragrance. The light and fragrance that accompany the prayers of the faithful rising to the Lord represent what they must burn within themselves if they are to be heard.
None of the actions a person performs happens by chance. Even those that appear insignificant contain deep meaning. So, each time you light a candle or a fire, you should be struck by the depth of the nature of sacrifice, and bear in mind that in order to gain access to the higher planes of the soul and spirit you must always burn something in yourself. There are so many things we have accumulated inside ourselves that are for burning! All the impurities, all the selfish, passionate tendencies those are the materials we must burn if we are to bring forth a light that will never leave us. »
GIFTS OF THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST
« St. Matthews gospel recounts how wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the East, and have come to pay him homage.
These wise men, traditionally called Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar, brought Jesus gold, incense and myrrh. Each of these gifts has a symbolic meaning. Gold signifies that Jesus was king: the colour gold is the colour of wisdom, and its brilliance shines above the head of initiates like a crown of light. Incense signifies that he was a priest: incense represents the realm of religion, which is also that of the heart and love. And myrrh is a symbol of immortality: it was used to embalm bodies to ensure their preservation.
So the three wise men brought gifts relating to the three realms of thought, feeling and the physical body. Each of the gifts is also linked to one of the sephiroth on the Tree of Life: myrrh to Binah, eternity; gold to Tiphareth, light, and incense to Chesed, devotion. »
Omraam Mikhaël Aivanhov
USE OF INCENSE AT HOME
A Brief History of Incense
A Christian Perspective on Aromatherapy
All things about Incense
Anointing oil - Incense - Essential oil.
Aromatic Medicines in The Bible (article)
Aura and Chakra cleansing with incense
A Short history of Orthodox Christian perfumery and incense making
Buddhist Incense Meditation
Burning Incense is Psychoactive
Catholic Encyclopedia on Incense
Culture of Incense
Different kinds of incense and what they are used for
Did you know?
How incense stick is made
How to burn incense sticks
How to burn resin incense
How to burn resin incense without charcoal
How to make incense
How to use charcoal censer and liturgical incense (pdf)
Incense - A Sacred Aroma
Incense - Enjoying the Aroma by Barney Garcia
Incense: from Papyri to Grimoires
Incense in religious rituals
Incense Library - Informative Articles
Incense making: step by step
Japanese Koh-Do ceremony
Jewish Encyclopedia on Incense
Methodists - Incense burning by Rev. Gregory S. Neal
Should a Christian use Incense by Clara Huset
The Holy Incense
The Way of Incense in Japan.
Three Wise Men offer God three precious gifts in me;
The Soul, the gold of love; the body, the myrrh of pain,
The spirit, frankincense of devotion, as its fee.
Oh, that I ever could thus three times wise remain.
That so thy Blessed Birth, O Christ,
might through the world be spread about,
the star appeared in the East,
whereby the Gentiles found thee out;
and offered thee Myrrh, Incense, Gold,
thy three-fold office to unfold.
Tears that from true repentance drop,
instead of Myrrh present will we:
for Incense we will offer up
our prayers and praises unto thee;
and bring for Gold each pious deed,
which doth from saving faith proceed.
And as those wise men never went
to visit Herod any more,
so, finding thee, we will repent
our courses followed heretofore;
and that we homeward may retire
the way by thee we will enquire.
George Wither (1588-1667) in his
HYMNES AND SONGS OF THE CHURCH, 1623
I breathe in the cool incense smoke from the metal brazier,
While thinking about a poem for my dear friend Lu Wa.
My sandalwood-hearted companion spits out plum blossoms of smoke,
Looking like the cloudy fog of the other world.
Perhaps it's the soul of my friend the old mountain man
In the smoke's dense patterns?
- Kan Po, in memoriam (undated)